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Four dead, one missing as boat sinks off NZ

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At least three people have been confirmed dead and two missing after a boat carrying 10 people sank in stormy weather off the New Zealand coast.

Five people were rescued after the boat got into trouble and set off a distress signal on Sunday night off North Cape on the northern coast, triggering a major search and rescue operation.

Two bodies had been located in the water and were recovered by helicopter on Monday morning, a police statement said.

A third body had been recovered by a search vessel.

“Air, land and water searches are ongoing in efforts to locate the two people who remain missing,” the statement said.

The five rescued people were admitted to Kaitaia Hospital in stable conditions.

Nick Burt, a spokesman for Maritime NZ which is leading the search, said an emergency beacon was activated at 8 pm.

A helicopter became the first search and rescue vehicle to reach the remote location at 11.40 pm, Burt told NZME media company.

Burt said he did not know whether the skipper had been rescued but police were interviewing survivors.

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