New Zealand’s Orion Finds Missing Dinghy

A New Zealand Defence Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft located a dinghy which had been lost in the Pacific since Sept 29.

All three occupants were well and uninjured. The dingy went missing near Tokelau on Tuesday morning New Zealand time.

Air Component Commander Air Commodore (AIRCDRE) Kevin McEvoy said the Air Force received a request for help from the New Zealand Rescue Coordination Centre after local resources in Tokelau had been exhausted searching for the missing four-metre dinghy.

The three men in the dinghy were taken on board the rescue vessel and returned to Atafu atoll.

This is the second South Pacific emergency the Air Force has responded to in the past 48 hours. On Tuesday, a P-3K2 Orion located Tongan fishing vessel Pacific Sunrise, which had issued a distress signal due to no power and flat batteries on board. The Orion successfully dropped a spare VHF radio to the vessel enabling the crew to re-establish essential communication and coordinate a rendezvous with another vessel.

Image: Royal New Zealand Navy

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