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Helicopter pilot says bodies should be recovered from White Island within days

Deborah Knight

A helicopter pilot involved in the initial recovery mission of the volcanic eruption in New Zealand says they are preparing to retrieve the bodies of eight people left behind. 

Eight Australians have been named as victims after the White Island volcano erupted on Monday.

Of the 47 people who were on the island at the time, 24 were Australians – aged between 17 and 72 – travelling on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship.

Helicopter pilot Mark Law tells Deborah Knight the bodies of the eight people left on the island could be recovered in the next couple of days.

“There’s been some real momentum as far as the planning goes.

“I’m very confident… that there’s going to be a push to recover folks very shortly.”

Mr Law had initially hoped to return to the island, before they were stood down, but does not believe there was anyone left behind that could have been saved.

“There were two folks there that were still alive, barely, but it was during the time we were away that they passed.

“In our minds, we were going back to collect everyone else so to be stood down was gutting.”

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Image: Getty/Jose Azel



New Zealand volcano: Australian victims named

Deborah Knight