Pacific: NZ Air Force Orion Sites Burning Vessel
Pacific - Survivors of a burning fishing vessel were found safe and sound by an Air Force Orion this morning. The Orion crew was operating in the Tongan Islands area when they were requested to assist with the Search and Rescue.
The Search and Rescue beacon was activated 200km south of Tongatapu Island in the Tongan Islands group. The Orion crew confirmed they had sighted a burning vessel still afloat with a life raft nearby at 9:30 this morning
Survivors of the burning vessel were relieved to be spotted by the Air Force Orion crew near Tongatapu Island today. The Orion crew dropped a rescue package including a radio to the life raft.
The captain has confirmed the eleven people on board are all safely on the life raft. The Tongan Government Patrol vessel Voea Pangai is on route to provide assistance and should reach the life raft by 4pm today.
The Orion will remain overhead the
liferaft until the rendezvous takes place.