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Tupouniua Veamatahau found safe after missing at sea for 3 days

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/04/2017

Tupouniua Veamatahau of Holonga is safe and sound after he was lost at sea since Saturday morning.

He was found at 3 yesterday afternoon by the royal NZ’s Orion aircraft and was picked up by Tonga Police MV ‘ALOTOLU search and rescue boat hours later.

Veamatahau set sail in a 19 feet wooden boat from Manuka destined to ‘Eua but the engine of his boat broke down.

He then called his family that morning but was reported to Police in the afternoon.

Information from Police says – he was found at the South-Eastern part of ‘Eua floating in a dinghy and used a pad to wave to the Orion when it approached.

The dinghy was in his boat but Tupouniua decided to leave the boat and use the dinghy in an attempt to paddle to Tongatapu or ‘Eua.

It is understood Tupouniua’s boat didn’t have any communication tools to be able to contact someone for help.

Meanwhile Police have urged fisherman and boat owners to make sure that they have all the appropriate safety gears and communication tools to ease communication and search for them if anything happened.

It has been confirmed no communication was made with Tupouniua since he was lost on Saturday due to no communication tool in his boat.

© Radio and Television Tonga News