NZ aircraft joins search for ʻEua fishermen

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The New Zealand Defence Force is helping search for two fishermen who have been missing at sea off the island of Faiʻana in Eua islands on Saturday.

Tonga’s Police Commissioner Steve Caldwell said this afternoon he has requested assistance from the RCCNZ (Rescue Co-Ordination Centre New Zealand) for consideration of an RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force) Orion for an aerial search of the predicted search area.

Tonga Police are searching  for the missing father and son from ‘Eua, who left their home for a fishing trip.

They last made contact by mobile phone on Saturday evening, advising of engine problems.

A Marine Search and Rescue was launched last Saturday with the use of police Rescue boat the MV ‘ALOTOLU and has so far been unsuccessful. Local boats and flights have also been alerted.

Police have now requested assistance from the RCCNZ (Rescue Co-Ordination Centre New Zealand) for consideration of an RNZAF (Royal New Zealand Air Force) Orion for an aerial search of the predicted search area.

The P3K2 Orion left New Zealand at 9:00 this morning and is due over Tonga waters at 1:00 pm today.

The 40-year-old father and his 14-year-old son left ‘Ohonua on Saturday 10 December 2016 at around 5:30 am in a 14ft boat was heading north of ‘Eua to Fai’ana, a shoal use by local fisherman for long line fishing.

His Majesty’s Armed Forces have been requested to assist, in event of the missing boat being located.

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Father and son missing off ʻEua since Saturday

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