RNZAF locates missing Samoan fishing boat
17.02.05 3.35pm
An RNZAF Orion has located one of the fishing vessels reported missing off Samoa.

The area has been battered by two cyclones in recent days.

All crew on the boat are safe although three have been injured, the Rescue Centre Coordination New Zealand said. The nature of their injuries is currently unknown.

The RNZAF Orion is continuing searching in an area north of Samoa for two vessels known to be in distress - a life raft containing six people who abandoned their fishing vessel last night, and any other vessels which may be in difficulty.

The bad weather in the area is easing, making the search and rescue effort less difficult.

The Orion will continue searching until about 6.30pm, when it will land in Samoa to refuel.

There are about 10 other vessels in the area in contact with RCCNZ and who may assist if required.

A new search has now begun about 340kms east of American Samoa for an American-registered fishing vessel. A US Coastguard Hercules is joining this search.