Sunday, May 16, 2010

Missing men found on remote island

Four men marooned on Manuae Island in the Cook Islands have been found by a Royal New Zealand Air Force crew this afternoon. The RNZAF has reported that the men have been missing for five days although they were, according to Fairfax Media, marooned ten days ago.

Their longline fishing boat departed from Rarotonga on May 5 and were due back four days later.

Their boat, dubbed the "Gypsy Trader", had communications equipment onboard, lifejackets, and an outboard motor. The alarm was raised when a spouse of one of the crew members alerted authorities as to the delay of their return. filed a report 11 minutes ago (at time of publishing):

Accroding to an Air Force statement, Cook Islands authorities diverted a scheduled Air Rarotonga flight to the Gypsy Trader's last known position but they found no trace of the vessel. The authorities then contacted the Rescue Coordination Centre in NZ and an Air Force P3 Orion aircraft started searching on Saturday.
"The Orion crew found the four men - two of whom hold NZ passports - on Manuae Island when they spotted a dinghy and a blue tarpaulin set up as shelter on the beach," an RNZAF statement said.
An emergency pack - which included a radio - was dropped to the men and they confirmed they were from the Gypsy Trader.
A patrol boat from Rarotonga uplifted the four men yesterday.
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