7500sq Miles of Pumice from Underwater Volcano Located
An area of floating pumice 250 nautical miles in length and 30 nautical miles wide was spotted in the South Pacific ocean yesterday by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Orion.
The RNZAF Orion, which was on Maritime patrol from Samoa to New Zealand, relayed the information to HMNZS CANTERBURY and last night, approximately 85 nautical miles West South-West of Raoul Island CANTERBURY spotted the phenomenon.
Lieutenant (LT) Tim Oscar, a Royal Australian Navy officer on a three year exchange with the Royal New Zealand Navy, saw what he describes as, “the wierdest thing I’ve seen in 18 years at sea.”
“The lookout reported a shadow on the ocean ahead of us so I ordered the ship’s spotlight to be trained on the area.
“As far ahead as I could observe was a raft of pumice moving up and down with the swell.
“The rock looked to be sitting two feet above the surface of the waves, and lit up a brilliant white colour in the spotlight. It looked exactly like the edge of an ice shelf,” said LT Oscar.
LT Oscar said he had been briefed by GNS Volcanologist Helen Bostock the previous day when the ship first encountered an area of pumice from an undersea volcano.