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Police rescued 21 lives at various sea incidents during the weekend

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 06/02/2017

Police were able to rescue 21 lives at sea during the weekend from 4 different operations.

On Friday, Rescue Coordination Center of NZ picked up an active beacon and relayed information to Tonga Police that the beacon belongs to the fishing vessel FV ‘Elenoa 1.

FV ‘Elenoa 1 experienced engine problem while it was located 20 miles South of Vava’u with 8 people on board.

A local fishing vessel reached out and successfully towed the boat and its occupants back to Neiafu safely.

On Saturday morning, German cruise ship Albatros bound for the Bay of Islands saved 6 Tongan fishermen, who hadn’t had water for 3 days, from their boat.

Radio New Zealand reported, New Zealand’s Rescue Coordination Centre alerted, the Albatros, at 5am on Saturday after the fishing vessel crew set off an emergency beacon.

The Albatros diverted 300km to help the fishermen and got to the fishing vessel about 2.30pm on Saturday.

A New Zealand defense force plane dropped emergency supplies – including a radio, water and food – to the men.

Thanks to the help of the cruise ship Albatros, the cruise ship is expected to arrive, with the fishermen, in Auckland around 9pm tonight.

The Center reports, the men are in good health at the moment.

On Saturday morning again, Police were informed that a boat departing to Nuku’alofa from ‘Atataa with 6 people had capsized near the shore at Sopu.

Police helped 4 passengers out of the water and transported them home, while the skipper and another crew salvaged their boat but they were all fine.

Deputy Police Commissioner – Pelenatita Vaisuai emphasized the importance of taking precautions and safety measures before embarking on their voyages.

To make sure that they have communication means life jackets, emergency flares and beacons, a sea worthy vessel and to check the weather forecast.

© Radio and Television Tonga News