The New Zealand Defence Force has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft to search for missing vessel with 9 people on board near Fiji.
27 December 2017
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is helping search for a missing vessel with nine people on board near Fiji.
The vessel was on a return leg back to Tovu, Totoya Island when a local search and rescue was initiated on Christmas Day.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft deployed from Auckland this morning to search for the missing vessel. A Fijian Navy Patrol Vessel is also assisting in the search.
Air Commodore Darryn Webb, the Air Component Commander said “we are pleased to be doing our bit to assist our neighbours in searching for their families, especially at this time of year.”
“The P-3K2 is uniquely equipped for this type of search, and is the best means to locate missing boats in the South Pacific,” Air Commodore Webb said.
The Fijian Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand requested NZDF support to locate the missing vessel through the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand.
The NZDF flew 234 hours on 19 search and rescue missions in New Zealand and the Pacific in 2016, up 59 per cent from the 147 flying hours recorded the previous year. Since January, it has flown more than 80 hours on seven search and rescue missions. Its last search and rescue operation, on October 18, involved three Kiribati fishermen who had been missing for four days in the Pacific Ocean.