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Missing Fishermen found alive and have re-united with families

Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 26/05/2017

The six fishermen that went missing at sea since Wednesday are alive and have re-united with their families.

They were located by an American USCG C130 aircrew, near Hunga Tonga Island last night.

Police say the American USCG C130 aircrew departed Auckland yesterday heading for Pangopango when they received the request from Tonga for their help.

After spotting the fishermen, food was provided together with a communication tool to help them indicate and identify their location to His Majesty’s Armed Forces patrol boat’s radar.

VOEA PANGAI then set sails last night with defence officers and Police personnel to rescue the fishermen.

Their 40feet fishing boat was abandoned at sea at the area they were picked up from.

Police say the fishermen tried to travel to Tongatapu but were hindered by the strong current and wind, but they had faith in God and they knew they will be rescued.

The patrol boat VOEA Pangai brought the fishermen to Touliki naval base, Ma’ufanga where they were greeted happily by their families.

Ambulances were on site at Touliki to provide medical help if needed.

Meanwhile Police Commissioner – Steven Caldwell thanked all valuable assistance provided by stakeholders.

© Radio and Television Tonga News