RCCNZ Gisborne Search For Three Fishermen: Update 4

Atrocious weather conditions off Gisborne continues to hamper the efforts to rescue two men off the Gisborne coast.

A fishing vessel with three fishermen on-board was reported missing to police yesterday afternoon (24 June).

Maritime NZ’s Rescue Coordination Centre then took over coordination of the search.

Two people were identified in the water by a bulk carrier vessel earlier this afternoon, however they were unable to rescue them due to the dangerously difficult weather conditions. The vessel attempted to provide the men with any available rescue materials they could throw overboard including life rings and flotsam. A third person is still missing.

RCCNZ is actively employing all search and rescue options available to rescue these men.

RCCNZ General Manager Justin Allan, says swells and gusts associated with the severe weather conditions are making it a very dangerous operation on the water and in the air.

“Swells are getting up as high as six metres and winds are gusting up to 50 knots.

RCCNZ is continuing to work with a range of agencies to coordinate rescuers to attempted to safely get these men out of the water.

“There has and continues to be support from Coastguard, rescue helicopter operators, the New Zealand Defence Force and vessels of opportunity in the area. Rescuers are continuing to do their very best in incredibly trying conditions and we are hugely grateful for their efforts.

“Just after 4 PM the NZDF P8 dropped a life raft in the area the men have been located.

“Our thoughts are with everyone closely connected to this situation and we continue to keep them update. This are incredibly stressful and difficult times for everyone involved,” Justin Allan says.

At this time, the men are still in the water.

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