Ovation of the Seas to sail out of Tauranga after losing multiple passengers in White Island eruption

The Ovation of the Seas cruise ship will set sail from Tauranga tomorrow morning after losing multiple passengers in the White Island eruption yesterday.

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ABC journalist Donna Field is a passenger on Ovation of the Seas, from which a number of people are missing following the White Island eruption. Source: 1 NEWS

Following yesterday’s disaster in which five were confirmed as dead and eight more are presumed dead, the ship stayed in Tauranga to allow crew to assist local authorities and support those affected by the disaster.

The ship will leave Tauranga at 6.45am tomorrow morning to sail to Wellington and Picton before returning to Sydney with its passengers still in disbelief.

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Most of the people who were on White Island yesterday were travelling with the Sydney-based cruiseliner. Source: 1 NEWS

A Canadian couple told 1 NEWS every time the captain takes to the public address system to update the 5000 or so people on board, an eerie silence settles over the decks.

An Australian journalist on board spoke of the moment her worst fears were realised.

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“I started working immediately, it was some time before we got an announcement from the bridge, from the captain, but when we did it was pretty grim. His voice was quite shaky and the whole ship still, everyone stood and listened as he talked about the fact crew and passengers were on White Island when it exploded,” Donna Field said.

“Everyone's just a bit shaken up and it's all everyone's talking about and I just, I sat at breakfast with my in-laws and my husband and my children this morning and paused for a moment, and you don't want to think about that. That's just terrible.”