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Search for Fishing Vessel Crew Underway

Search for Fishing Vessel Crew Underway

The Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand (RCCNZ) is coordinating the search for six crew members of a fishing vessel that sank 80 nautical miles (150 kms) north of Western Samoa.

An emergency locator beacon alert was picked up by the RCCNZ at 4.30pm this afternoon. Earlier this evening, advice was received from a fishing company in Western Samoa that one of its vessels was in distress and that the crew was abandoning ship and transferring to a liferaft.

RCCNZ Mission Controller, Dave Wilson, said that it also appears that at least two other vessels in the area are experiencing difficulties in the extreme conditions, with one further beacon alert having been detected.

“An Airforce Orion will depart Auckland for Samoa at 8:00am tomorrow, which is the earliest departure time given the weather conditions in the area. The Orion is expected to reach Samoa and begin searching at around midday,” Mr Wilson said.

“Unfortunately, there are currently no large vessels in the area that can render assistance,” said Mr Wilson.

Mr Wilson said that the weather in the area is atrocious, as cyclones Nancy and Olaf continue to batter the area.

“Seas of 15 metres and winds gusting up to 190 kms per hour are being reported,” he said.

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