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Search and rescue in New Zealand

Major maritime, aviation and beacon-related search and rescue missions in New Zealand’s search and rescue region are co-ordinated by Maritime New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ).
The New Zealand Police coordinate all other New Zealand search and rescue missions.

Jointly, the RCCNZ and New Zealand Police can bring together over 100 rescue services and related agencies nationwide plus 10,000 search and rescue (SAR) personnel and volunteers.

The RCCNZ provides search and rescue (SAR) services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

The types of beacons used to alert the RCCNZ to a distress incident are:

  • maritime beacons (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon - EPIRBs) for sea-based incidents
  • aviation beacons (Emergency Locator Transmitter - ELTs) for air-based incidents
  • personal beacons (Personal Locator Beacon - PLBs) for land-based incidents.


RCCNZ weekly incident summary

This document contains summaries of some of the incidents RCCNZ has responded to over the past week. Please note it is not intended as a comprehensive report on RCCNZ activity.

View the latest summary


Learn more about search and rescue in New Zealand

Contact RCCNZ – emergency and other contact details

New Zealand’s search and rescue region

How search and rescue is managed

Search and rescue partners

History of New Zealand search and rescue

Distress beacons [Beacons website]

How to report an accident, incident or injury for a commercial operation, or onboard a recreational vessel.