Hopes fade of finding fallen rock climbers in NZ

2012-08-09 07:49

Wellington - New Zealand police said Thursday there was no hope of finding two teenagers and an instructor alive after they fell into the sea on a rock-climbing expedition, and searchers were now looking for their bodies.

Joao Felipe Martins De Melo, 17, Stephen Lewis Kahukaka-Gedye, 17, and outdoor training instructor Bryce John Jourdain, 42, have been missing since Wednesday, police inspector Frank Grant told a news conference in New Plymouth.

Nine students and another instructor were rescued Wednesday from the 154-metre Paritutu Rock, which rises steeply from a beach outside New Plymouth on the west coast of the North Island.

Grant said the disaster began when three students fell into the sea and Jourdain jumped in to save them. One student managed to cling to rocks and was rescued by a helicopter.

The others have not been seen since.

De Melo was on a student exchange from Fortaleza, on the north-east coast of Brazil, Grant said.