Mission success, but rescuers vow to continue search for two remaining bodies on White Island

Source: 1News

The recovery operation for the two remaining bodies on Whakaari/White Island continues this afternoon as divers search surrounding waters and police prepare to conduct an aerial search.

Six of the eight bodies were successfully recovered this morning and are believed to be Australians, according to the Australian Foreign Minister.

Police commissioner Mike Bush told media the rescue mission is "not over" and police are returning to Whakaari/White Island this afternoon to determine if they can find the remaining bodies.

"We are also right now deploying our dive team to search the surrounding waters," he said.

"We will continue to search for these two people."

Mr Bush thanked everyone involved in the rescue operation and said staff showed "absolute courage" in the face of an unpredictable environment.

Police said earlier that the recovery team is safe and well on the HMNZS Wellington, as the six recovered bodies return to the mainland before being transferred to hospital.