The search for 10 fishermen missing off Samoa following last week's cyclone was suspended this morning. Three days of searching involving a RNZAF P3 Orion and a French Navy Guardian aircraft, around 5,000 square kilometres failed to find any sign of the men.
The Samoa Police Superintendent requested the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) scale down the search for the men, from four missing fishing boats, after the RNZAF P3 Orion completed a final visual search of one of the smaller islands this morning.
RCCNZ Search and Rescue Coordinator Neville Blakemore said the search could be reactivated if new information came to hand.
“We are confident that the area has been thoroughly covered in difficult circumstances,” he said. “This is obviously a tragic outcome for the families of the men involved and our thoughts are with them.”
While the hull of one vessel believed to be one missing boats was found, the aerial and sea search, by Samoa Police, found no sign of the men.