Volcano Death New Zealand Ovation of the Seas Passenger – On Monday, December 9, 2019, at 2:11 in the afternoon, (see video below), Martin Hollander, 50, was a passenger aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship Ovation of the Seas when the ship called at White Island in New Zealand’s northeastern Bay of Plenty region as the Whakaari Volcano erupted.
Ovation of the Seas was sailing on a 12-night cruise from Sydney, Australia.
The Hollander family was on the cruise, which included his wife Barbara, 50, and the couples’ two sons Matthew Hollander, 13, and Berend, 16. The family from Northbrook, Illinois had been living in Australia and the family had been touring White Island when the volcano erupted. The Hollanders had lived in Northbrook for about five years before moving to Australia around 2015.
About Whakaari Volcano
Whakaari also is known as just White Island is an active andesite stratovolcano situated 48 km (30 mi) from the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand, in the Bay of Plenty. It is New Zealand’s most active cone volcano and has been built up by continuous volcanic activity over the past 150,000 years.
The nearest mainland towns are Whakatane and Tauranga. The island has been in a nearly continuous stage of releasing volcanic gas at least since it was sighted by James Cook in 1769. Whakaari erupted continually from December 1975 until September 2000, marking the world’s longest historic eruption episode, according to GeoNet, and also in 2012, 2016, and 2019.
GeoNet, which tracks New Zealand’s seismic and volcanic activity, raised its alert level on the island in November after increasing sulfur dioxide gas. Volcanic tremor also increased, and the agency wrote at the time that the island “may be entering a period where the eruptive activity is more likely than normal.”
Royal Caribbean’s 4,905-passenger Ovation of the Seas arrived at the nearest port of Tauranga yesterday, and it is understood that most of the missing tourists were visiting White Island on the cruise line’s shore excursion.
Royal Caribbean’s spokesperson in Australia stated, “We can confirm that a number of our guests were touring the island today. We do not have any additional details to share at this time. Ovation of the Seas will remain overnight until we learn more about the situation. We will offer all possible assistance to our guests and local authorities. Please keep all those affected in your prayers.”
Other Whakaari Volcano Deaths
Anthony James Langford, 51, from Australia
Barbara Hollander, 50, Sydney, Australia (American)
Berend Hollander, 16, Sydney, Australia (American)
Gavin Dallow, 53, Adelaide, Australia
Hayden Marshall-Inman – New Zealand White Island Tours Limited guide
Jason Griffiths, 33, Coffs Harbour, Australia
Jessica Richards, 20, Brisbane, Australia
Julie Richards, 47, Brisbane, Australia
Karla Matthews, 32, Coffs Harbor, Australia
Krystal Eve Browitt, 21, Melbourne, Australia
Matthew Hollander, 13, Sydney, Australia (American)
Richard Elzer, 32, Coffs Harbor, Australia
Tipene Maangi, 24, New Zealand White Island Tours Limited guide
Winona Jane Langford, 17, from Australia
Zoe Hosking, 15, Adelaide, Australia
Video: Bodies recovered from White Island after volcano eruption | Nine News Australia\