A total of 10 men from four fishing boats missing off Samoa are now the subject of searching by a RNZAF P3 Orion and French Navy Guardian aircraft tasked by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ).
Initially three boats were declared missing after last week’s cyclone but this number has now been increased to four, RCCNZ Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Kevin Banaghan said.
“We have now been advised that a fourth fishing boat has been confirmed missing, with a total of 10 men still to be accounted for,” he said,. “Each boat had three crew aboard, but two men, from different boats, have made it to shore.”
Both aircraft are continuing their search, with the Orion scheduled to continue until after 6pm (NZ Time).
“It has been a long day for both the crew of the Orion, and the French Navy,” Mr Banaghan said. “They are doing a tremendous job.”
NOTE TO MEDIA – A further update will be issued 7.30pm, unless there a developments earlier