24 April 2012
A man washed overboard, 600 nautical miles north-west of Singapore, has been successfully located last night by a Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3K Orion.
Operating out of Malaysia, the P3K Orion aircraft was preparing for participation in an annual exercise "Bersama Shield" with Five Power Defence Agreement partners, when it received a mayday call from a merchant vessel, reporting a man lost overboard.
Leaving the training route, the aircraft flew quickly to the last known location of the sailor, and spotted a red flashing beacon within the search area.
The ship, missing its crewman, was directed to the location and the beacon was found to be the missing sailor. The man was rescued and he is alive and well.
Squadron Leader Geoff Pierce of Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand stated that the P3K aircraft is in Malaysia to join the Bersama Shield Exercise, which helps to prepare forces from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom to operate efficiently together.
For further information please contact Squadron Leader ‘Lyn’ Coromandel, Senior Communications and Media Advisor (Air Force) on his cell phone 021 420 899