RCCNZ responding to Tongan beacon alert

25 October 2007, 2:00pm

The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is coordinating the search for an emergency beacon detected near Tonga earlier today.

RCCNZ has tasked a Royal New Zealand Airforce Orion to search for the beacon, which was detected by satellite about 140 nautical miles (260km) south/south-west of Tonga just before 10am.  It is thought that a drifting fishing boat may have activated the beacon, but no further information is available at this stage.

The Orion is expected to arrive in the area at about 4pm today.

A further update will be provided as and when any new information comes to hand.

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