New Zealand Police Admit To Losing White Island Victim's Body
New Zealand Police have admitted they found a man's body in the ocean during a White Island recovery operation, but lost it during a botched mission.
However they have rejected claims posted on social media that alleged the body had been towed with a rope through water, then lost after it was run over.
The police force said the allegation was 'offensive'.
Deputy Police Commissioner Mike Clement told the NZ Herald on Wednesday that the country's defence force had attempted to recover the body in the water on December 11, two days after the volcano eruption.
Clement told the Herald that two attempts to recover the body had failed.
A police spokeswoman told the Herald that claims the body had been run over were not true.
The bodies of two White Island victims -- Kiwi Hayden Marshall-Inman and Australian teen Winona Langford -- were washed out to sea after the eruption and remain missing.
Clement told the Herald the police priority was to recover all victims and return them to their loved ones.
"We are hugely disappointed that we have been unable to recover two people ... I would describe the claims ... as offensive both to the families of the victims and to the police and defence force staff who worked tirelessly during the operation."
The revelation comes on the same day scientists resumed public streaming of White Island's volcanic crater.
Shots from the cameras maintained by geological monitoring agency GNS Science, can again be seen on the GeoNet website.
The images were turned off in the aftermath of the blast as police mounted a recovery operation for bodies of eight people.
The GeoNet cameras upload images from three positions on the island every 10 minutes.
The last images prior to the blast showed a group of people close to the crater's edge, with another sightseeing group returning from an outing on the popular tourist attraction.
New images are largely of a poor standard, with the few of discernible quality still showing plumes of steam and volcanic gases still surging into the air.
The landscape in close vicinity to the crater is still grey, understood to be remnants of ash.
A GeoNet bulletin issued on Wednesday said the vent area remained at temperatures around 440 degrees, with Whakaari remaining "in an elevated state of unrest".
"Aside from minor ash eruptions on December 23 and 26, no significantly sustained or strong eruptive activity has been observed since the December 9 eruption," duty volcanologist Brad Scott said.
"Further large explosive eruptions are very unlikely on any given day in the next four weeks."
The volcanic alert level remains at level two, as it was before the eruption.