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7 Survivors of Missing Ferry Found Adrift in the Pacific

  • VOA News

This photo released by the New Zealand Defence Force shows a wooden dinghy, left, carrying seven survivors from a missing ferry and a fishing boat in the Pacific Ocean, Jan. 28, 2018.

Six adults and an unconscious baby were found Sunday after floating for more than a week in a small wooden boat in the Pacific Ocean.

The New Zealand Air Force found the dinghy as it searched for survivors of a ferry that sank as it traveled between two islands in the remote nation of Kiribati.

The air force crew was able to drop supplies, including water and food, to the survivors.

"The group seem very relieved to have been found," John Ashby from the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre said .

The MV Buritaoi, carrying 50 passengers, left Nonouti Island on January 18 on a two-day trip, headed for South Tarawa, officials say.

Reuters reports, however, that New Zealand emergency workers were only told about the missing vessel on Friday, eight days after the ferry left port.

The air force says there has been no sign of the remaining 43 passengers.

A fishing boat was re-directed to pick up the survivors.

Kiribati is a remote nation of 33 atolls in the Central Pacific that is home to about 108,000 people.

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