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Air Force Orion Coordinates Successful Rescue

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa

Media Release
13 December 2004

Air Force Orion Coordinates Successful Rescue


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Spanish Fishing Vessel, which ran aground on a reef 500km South East of Fiji. P3 called out for assistance

An Air Force Orion has successfully coordinated the rescue of 16 fishermen, stranded on a reef 500km South East of Fiji.

The search and rescue mission was launched yesterday (Sunday 12 December) when the Spanish fishing vessel Balueiro Terceiro ran aground on the reef.

The Orion left RNZAF Base Whenuapai at 11.30am and the crew spotted the fishermen just over three hours later.

Fresh water and a radio were then dropped from the aircraft.


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"It was quite hard to talk with them because of the language barriers, but we soon determined that everyone was well and accounted for." Said Pilot Officer Leon Fox, the navigator on board the Orion.

The Orion then coordinated the arrival of three rescue vessels to the scene.

The 16 fishermen are now on board another Spanish fishing vessel and are expected to arrive in Suva tomorrow.


ENDS

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