27 Nov 2012

Search for Kiribati fisherman ends without result

11:17 am on 27 November 2012

A search for three fishermen missing off the coast of Kiribati has wrapped up, without the men being found.

An Air Force Orion was dispatched from Auckland's Whenuapai airbase on Sunday to look for the men, who are five days overdue on their fishing trip.

The search and rescue New Zealand coordination centre says the Orion searched an area of 21-thousand square kilometres on Sunday, and a further 42-thousand yesterday, but found no sign of the trio.

A spokesperson says the conditions were ideal for searching, and the crew are confident that if the men were in the area they would have been found.

They say a decision on the next stage of the search will be made by authorities in Kiribati and the rescue coordination centre in Fiji.