The Bay of Plenty Regional Council spokesperson said there were sufficient life jackets on board (around 100), but the fire spread so quickly that some life jackets were inaccessible. Fortunately all passengers and crew on board the ferry were accounted for. Several passengers were taken to a local hospital. The ferry sank underwater. The cause of the disaster was not immediately known. Burnt debris has been located covering an area approximately 400m in length on the Opihi coastlands. Commission has opened an inquiry into the incident and investigators have arrived in Whakatane. White Island Tours says it will provide help for passengers who lost personal items.