The New Zealand Defence Force has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft to help search for an emergency beacon that was activated near the South Pacific island-nation of Tuvalu.
4 March 2018
The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is helping search for an emergency beacon that has been activated near the South Pacific island-nation of Tuvalu.
Air Commodore Andrew Clark, the Air Component Commander, said a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft had been deployed this afternoon to locate the beacon following a request from Fiji’s Rescue Coordination Centre.
“The coordinates from the distress call were used to define the search area and will hopefully help us pinpoint the beacon’s location,” Air Commodore Clark said.
“At present, all we know is that a beacon has been activated in the vicinity of Tuvalu and we are helping Fijian authorities locate it.”
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand said the distress signal was sent close to Niulakita Island, the southernmost island of Tuvalu, which is 3700 kilometres north of New Zealand. The agency said they had asked all vessels within 500 kilometres of where the beacon was activated to be on the lookout for any signs of distress.
Air Commodore Clark said the Orion was expected to reach the search area later this afternoon.