Parents chose visit to Rotorua instead of White Island.
SAFE, BUT SHAKEN: Peter, Baxter, Sam and Karen Rourke pictured before they boarded the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship (background) for a cruise to New Zealand. The Rourkes are safe, but some passengers were still missing late yesterday, after being caught up in the eruption of a volcano on White Island.

RETURNING from a day trip to Rotorua on Monday, during a stop on their New Zealand cruise ship holiday, Wangaratta’s Rourke family received word of a volcanic eruption nearby.

However, it wasn’t until they were back on board the Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas ship that afternoon that they realised the tragic extent of the event at nearby White Island.

Peter and Karen Rourke, and their children Sam and Baxter, left Sydney aboard the ship on December 4, and had been enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in the five days before Monday’s eruption at White Island – about 3km from where the ship is docked.

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