Seven people rescued in Pacific Ocean after ferry went missing

Seven people, including an unconscious baby, who went missing after their ferry sank, were rescued from a life raft in the Pacific Ocean Sunday, authorities said.

At least 50 people were aboard the MV Butiraoi, a 57-foot wooden vessel, when it was traveling between Nonouti Island and South Tarawa in Kiribati on Jan. 18 officials in New Zealand said.

A military plane located the life raft and dropped food, water and radios for the survivors, who were drifting for four days, said New Zealand Defense Force Air Commodore Darryn Webb.

There were no signs of other survivors, and it wasn’t clear what caused the ferry to sink, Webb said.

A fishing boat at sea had picked up the survivors Sunday afternoon, he said, adding that officials plan to interview them before deciding whether to continue the search.

New Zealand officials found out about the missing boat on Friday. The ferry had its propeller shaft repaired — which might have caused navigation problems — before leaving Nonouti Island, officials said.

RELATED: Sunken ferry resurfaced in South Korea

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Sunken ferry raised during salvage operation in South Korea
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Sunken ferry raised during salvage operation in South Korea
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 24: Submersible vessel attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 24, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. (Lee Myeong-Ik-Pool/Getty Images)
The sunken ferry Sewol on a semi-submersible transport vessel is seen during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, South Korea. Salvage crews towed the corroded 6,800-ton South Korean ferry and loaded it onto a semi-submersible transport vessel Saturday, completing what was seen as the most difficult part of the massive effort to bring the ship back to shore nearly three years after it sank. / KOREAN MINISTRY OF OCEANS AND FISHERIES
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 28: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Relatives of the missing victims look at a Sewol ferry on March 28, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. The Oceans Ministry says remains presumed to be of a victim of the Sewol ferry sinking have been found at the salvage site. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)

This aerial image shows part of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges after being raised during a salvage operation at sea off the southwestern island of Jindo on March 23, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters on March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. 

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 28: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Lee Geum-Hui (L), mother of Danwon High student Cho Eun-Hwa who went missing in the Sewol ferry holds a flower as she stands on the deck of a boat on March 28, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. The Oceans Ministry says remains presumed to be of a victim of the Sewol ferry sinking have been found at the salvage site. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)

This aerial image shows part of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges after being raised during a salvage operation at sea off the southwestern island of Jindo on March 23, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters on March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye.

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

A South Korean fisher drives a boat to the site of attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 23, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing.

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 26: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, The sunken Sewol ferry on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, on March 26, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)

This aerial image shows part of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges after being raised during a salvage operation at sea off the southwestern island of Jindo on March 23, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters on March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. 

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

This aerial image shows part of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges after being raised during a salvage operation at sea off the southwestern island of Jindo on March 23, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters on March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. 

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 25: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Maritime Ministry, Workers participate in the salvage operation of the Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 25, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. (Photo by South Korean Maritime Ministry via Getty Images)

This aerial image shows part of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges after being raised during a salvage operation at sea off the southwestern island of Jindo on March 23, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters on March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. 

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Submersible vessel attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 23, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing.

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 26: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, The sunken Sewol ferry on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, on March 26, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)

This aerial image shows part of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges after being raised during a salvage operation at sea off the southwestern island of Jindo on March 23, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters on March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. 

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

The Sewol ferry is lifted during a salvage operation off the coast of South Korea's southern island of Jindo on March 24, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)

This aerial image shows part of the damaged Sewol ferry between two barges after being raised during a salvage operation at sea off the southwestern island of Jindo on March 23, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters on March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. 

(STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Submersible vessel attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 23, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing.

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

In this handout photo released by Korea Coast Guard, a submersible vessel attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 22, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing.

(Photo by Korea Coast Guard via Getty Images)

Submersible vessel attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 23, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing.

(Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 28: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Lee Geum-Hui (L), mother of Danwon High student Cho Eun-Hwa who went missing in the Sewol ferry looks at Sewol ferry as she stands on the deck of a boat on March 28, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. The Oceans Ministry says remains presumed to be of a victim of the Sewol ferry sinking have been found at the salvage site. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)
The sunken ferry Sewol is seen on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, South Korea. Salvage crews towed the corroded 6,800-ton South Korean ferry and loaded it onto a semi-submersible transport vessel Saturday, completing what was seen as the most difficult part of the massive effort to bring the ship back to shore nearly three years after it sank. / KOREAN MINISTRY OF OCEANS AND FISHERIES
Workers try to raise the sunken Sewol ferry, center, between two barges during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, South Korea. The 6,800-ton South Korean ferry emerged from the water on Thursday, nearly three years after it capsized and sank into violent seas off the country's southwestern coast, an emotional moment for the country that continues to search for closure to one of its deadliest disasters ever. / KOREAN MINISTRY OF OCEANS AND FISHERIES
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 28: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, The sunken ferry Sewol is seen on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, on March 28, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. The Oceans Ministry says remains presumed to be of a victim of the Sewol ferry sinking have been found at the salvage site. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 28: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, Lee Geum-Hui (L), mother of Danwon High student Cho Eun-Hwa who went missing in the Sewol ferry holds a flower as she stands on the deck of a boat on March 28, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. The Oceans Ministry says remains presumed to be of a victim of the Sewol ferry sinking have been found at the salvage site. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)
The sunken ferry Sewol is seen on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, South Korea. Salvage crews towed the corroded 6,800-ton South Korean ferry and loaded it onto a semi-submersible transport vessel Saturday, completing what was seen as the most difficult part of the massive effort to bring the ship back to shore nearly three years after it sank. / KOREAN MINISTRY OF OCEANS AND FISHERIES
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 26: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, The sunken Sewol ferry on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, on March 26, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 26: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, The sunken Sewol ferry on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, on March 26, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)
Workers try to raise the sunken Sewol ferry, center, between two barges during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, South Korea. The 6,800-ton South Korean ferry emerged from the water on Thursday, nearly three years after it capsized and sank into violent seas off the country's southwestern coast, an emotional moment for the country that continues to search for closure to one of its deadliest disasters ever. / KOREAN MINISTRY OF OCEANS AND FISHERIES
The sunken ferry Sewol on a semi-submersible transport vessel is seen during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, South Korea. Salvage crews towed the corroded 6,800-ton South Korean ferry and loaded it onto a semi-submersible transport vessel Saturday, completing what was seen as the most difficult part of the massive effort to bring the ship back to shore nearly three years after it sank. / KOREAN MINISTRY OF OCEANS AND FISHERIES
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 26: In this handout photo released by the South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, The sunken Sewol ferry on a semi-submersible transport vessel during the salvage operation in waters off Jindo, on March 26, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. Workers are in the process of an attempt to raise the ferry from the water in the hope that the disasters' final victims will be found. (Photo by South Korean Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries via Getty Images)
The Sewol ferry is lifted during a salvage operation off the coast of South Korea's southern island of Jindo on March 24, 2017. South Koreas sunken Sewol ferry emerged from the waters March 23, nearly three years after it went down with the loss of more than 300 lives and dealt a crushing blow to now-ousted president Park Geun-Hye. / AFP PHOTO / Ed JONES (Photo credit should read ED JONES/AFP/Getty Images)
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 24: Submersible vessel attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 24, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
JINDO-GUN, SOUTH KOREA - MARCH 24: Submersible vessel attempts to salvage sunken Sewol ferry in waters off Jindo, on March 24, 2017 in Jindo-gun, South Korea. The Sewol sank off the Jindo Island in April 2014 leaving more than 300 people dead and nine of them still remain missing. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
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