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Fiji Navy Co-ordinates Rescue of Drifting Tuvalu Fishermen

Fiji Navy Co-ordinates Rescue of Drifting Tuvalu Fishermen
RFNS Kikau.
March 07
14:56 2018

The Republic of Fiji Navy Search and Rescue Centre over the weekend coor­dinated the search and rescue operation that saved three Tuvalu fishermen from drifting at sea af­ter their engine failed.

“The three fishermen were safe­ly transported to Funafuti by the Fishing Vessel (FV)Talamoana and the Tuvalu Police are con­cluding their investigation to the incident,” said chief of Navy and Search and Rescue co-ordi­nator Captain (navy) Humphrey Tawake.

Three Tuvalu fishermen were rescued on Sunday with the assis­tance of a Tuvalu boat dispatched by the Tuvalu Police after a search and rescue operation was activat­ed on Saturday.

Captain Tawake said the Tuvalu Police deployed the Tuvalu Fisheries vessel FV Talamoana to the location of the distress which located the distress fishing vessel on Sunday afternoon.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 was deployed on Sunday morning after a request from the Maritime Surveillance Rescue Co-ordination Centre received more information on the distress that the three fishermen from Nuilakita had engine problems and were drifting at sea.

Nuilakita is the southern-most island in the Tuvalu group.

The P3 Orion crew confirmed they observed from the air the FV Talamoana rescuing the three fishermen receiving them on board the vessel.

Meanwhile Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake yesterday said the RFNS Kikau’s return had been delayed for another three months.

“The Kikau would now be back in July,” he said.

“It was supposed to return in April or May but because of some works that need to be carried out, it has been delayed.”

The 197-tonne patrol vessel is currently in Cairns, Australia for repairs and upgrading before re­turning to Fiji.

The Royal Australian Navy has been conducting training last year for Fiji Navy personnel in preparation to be crew for the re­fitted RFNS Kikau when she re­turns to Fiji.

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