NEWS

Kiribati Fishermen Safe After Successful Joint Operations

After local SAR maritime and aerial assets combed the search area with nil sighting, RCC Fiji facilitated a request for a RNZAF P3 Orion to fly to Fiji, overnight, and begin searching on Thursday 5th November.
06 Nov 2020 08:19
Kiribati Fishermen Safe After Successful Joint Operations

Coordination between RCC Fiji (Fiji Navy) the Kiribati SAR authorities, JRCC New Zealand and the Royal New Zealand Air force resulted in a successful SAR operation of two cases in Kiribati in the past two days.

The first case came to light last week Saturday, October 31st when a distress beacon was activated.

It involved an overdue boat with 03pob who had gone out fishing.

After local SAR maritime and aerial assets combed the search area with nil sighting, RCC Fiji facilitated a request for a RNZAF P3 Orion to fly to Fiji, overnight, and begin searching on Thursday 5th November.123394478_1256668194701783_5930190459996164492_n

Following COVID safety protocols, the necessary approvals and health clearances were facilitated with the support of the Ministry of Defense to allow the RNZAF crew to overnight in Nadi on Wednesday, November 4th.

The missing wooden boat and all 03pers were located approximately 178NM W of Tarawa. The Kiribati SAR vessel MV NAKARAOAI managed to rendezvous with the SAR target and effect a rescue.

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In the second case, 02 fisherman were reported overdue on Wednesday, November 4th and a distress beacon activation was also picked up by RCC Fiji.

With the RNZAF P3 Orion already conducting a search in Kiribati waters, communications was relayed to also search for the second missing boat.

The missing aluminum boat was located approximately 78NM W of Betio Coast. A tanker (MV Sunset) approximately 40NM N of the position was contacted to render assistance and diverted from its course to oblige with the SAR request.

A survival kit was also dropped off by the RNZAF P3 Orion to support the 02pers until a rescue vessel arrived at their location.

At last report the MV Sunset had arrived within the vicinity of the SAR target, had picked up the SAR target on radar, and will remain on station until the local Kiribati SAR vessels (MV NATIN TERAOI and MV NAKARAOAI) arrive on scene.

In total, Aerial and Maritime SAR assets had covered around 1939 SQ NM of ocean searching for the 02 boats.

The coordinated SAR efforts involving Kiribati, New Zealand and Fiji has allowed these 5 Kiribati Nationals from 2 separate incidents to safely make it home.

RCC Fiji is grateful for the overwhelming efforts of the Kiribati SAR authorities, JRCC NZ and the RNZAF. RCC Fiji also acknowledges all the support agencies and Fijian Government Ministries that approved the stopover of the RNZAF P3 Orion crew.

Feedback: rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj



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