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Rescue under way for fishing vessel in distress


MEDIA RELEASE
Date: 18 May 2005
Time: 9.30am

Rescue under way for fishing vessel in distress

Five people on board a fishing vessel in distress are being rescued today, about 105 miles northeast of Samoa.

Overnight, the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand and an Airforce Orion were kept busy searching for an activated distress beacon that was located by satellite yesterday afternoon.

RCCNZ mission coordinator Geoff Lunt says there were no search and rescue resources available in Samoa, so RCCNZ asked the NZ Airforce to assist.

“The Orion left just after midnight to fly to the scene and search for the beacon. They arrived at 6.11am to find the fishing vessel Rowena.

“A radio was dropped down to the crew so they could communicate, and it was discovered the vessel’s batteries were flat and they had been drifting, dead in the water, with no other means of calling for help. All five on board are safe and well. They would have been very relieved to see the Orion flying towards them.

“The Orion located the closest available vessel, Tokolau, which is now heading towards the Rowena. It’s expected to arrive late this afternoon and will try to restart the vessel or tow it to Samoa,” he said.

The Orion has flown to Western Samoa to refuel, before returning to New Zealand.

ENDS



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