Update on Milford search

10 February 2007, 1:58pm

The Rescue Coordination Centre NZ (RCCNZ) have reviewed information to hand and after further analysis of the initial alert message have not discounted the possibility that this may have been a hoax call.

However Mission Controller Mike Roberts says RCCNZ needs to be able to ensure that Mr McAuley is not in distress. “We need to make sure that Mr McAuley is not in any trouble, and the best way to do this is to locate him. To assist with this we have called in an Air Force P3 Orion to help in the search.” The P3 Orion is expected to be over the search area around 3.00pm this afternoon. Two fishing vessels searched the area early this morning and have returned to Fiordland for refuelling. Three yachts are currently in the area and assisting in the search.  A helicopter is on stand by in Milford.

Mr McAuley’s last communication was that he would arrive in Milford Sound at 0900 Sunday 11 February. He is understood to have a 406 EPIRB emergency locator beacon and flares on board. There have been no reported beacon activation or flares sightings.

Both weather conditions and visibility in the area are favourable.

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