21 Feb 2005

New Zealand rescue centre suspends search for two missing crew north of Samoa

1:44 pm on 21 February 2005

Meanwhile, the New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre has suspended the search for the two remaining crew members who went missing when a fishing vessel sank north of Samoa last Wednesday during cyclone Olaf.

The centre's Mission Controller, John Dickson, says a New Zealand Air Force Orion and a local vessel had carried out an extensive search over an area of some 650 square kilometres northeast of Samoa during the last three days.

Only four of the six crew members of the fishing vessel were found.

The RNZAF Orion is now searching for another fishing vessel in the area that reported having been damaged by Cyclone Olaf and was making its way back to Pago Pago in American Samoa.

The vessel has not reported in to Maritime Radio for some 12 hours.