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Search For Missing Crew Suspended

Search For Missing Crew Suspended

The Rescue Coordination Centre has suspended the search for the two remaining crew members that went missing when a fishing vessel sank north of Samoa last Wednesday during cyclone Olaf.

RCCNZ Mission Controller, John Dickson, said that a New Zealand Air Force Orion and a local vessel had carried out an extensive search over an area of some 650 square kilometres northeast of Western Samoa during the last three days.

“ While we were able to rescue four of the crew, further searches over an increasingly large area for the remaining two crew members have, unfortunately, proved unsuccessful.

“Every effort has been made to find the two men, but they would now have been in the water for around seventy hours, much of that time in extreme weather and sea conditions”, he said.

Mr Dickson said that the weather and sea conditions in the area had again deteriorated, making it extremely difficult to spot anyone in the water from the air. The forecast is for this weather to continue over at least the next 24 hours.

The Air Force Orion based in Apia has now been tasked with searching for another fishing vessel in the area that reported having been damaged by Cyclone Olaf and was making its way back to Pago Pago in Western Samoa. The vessel has not reported in to Maritime Radio for some 12 hours.

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