Four Tongans die in Kaipara habour tragedy

Four Tongan men were among seven people who have died yesterday Saturday 26 in a fishing tragedy in New Zealand.

Emergency teams were called to reports Charter boat the Francie was missing yesterday afternoon after attempting to re-enter the Kaipara Harbour.

Waitemata Police have confirmed this morning a total of seven victims have now been recovered.

They said one person is still missing and the search is ongoing this morning.

The bodies of two more people who are believed to have been onboard the Francie were recovered early this morning.

Police and LandSAR recovered the body of one man around 1am on the shoreline, north of Muriwai Beach.

The body of a second man was found around an hour later, on the shoreline closer to South Head/Woodhill Forest.

Eleven people are believed to have been on-board the vessel. Three survivors were taken to hospital.

Inspector Willi Fanene told media the men on the boat, apart from the skipper, were  Tongan, Cook Island and Samoan descendants.

A large team of Police are involved. The process of formally identifying the victims and advising next of kin is underway. Enquiries to establish the circumstances are still ongoing.

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