Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Search Fails To Find Sign Of Missing Men

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A search today by a Royal New Zealand Defence Force Orion for two men missing at sea off the coast of Tonga has failed to locate any sign of the men or their boats.

The men, a 32-year-old from Vanuatu and a 35-year-old from Tonga, set out with a diving party in two 25 foot (7.62m) open-topped fibreglass boats, to the Duff Reef area off Tonga's main island of Tongatapu about 9am on Friday.

The last time either of the two divers saw the men was about 11am. When they resurfaced about 12pm, both the boats and the men had gone. The divers swam six kilometres to shore and raised the alarm.

Tongan police launched a search for the men, and yesterday (2 September) asked the Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand (RCCNZ) for assistance.

An Orion arrived at the search area at 9.30am (New Zealand time) today.

The Orion was tasked to cover a search area of approximately 4000 square nautical miles (about 13,700 square kilometres) and completed its search about 5pm (NZ time).

Visibility in the area was good throughout the day, but no sign of the men or their boats was found.

A decision on whether to continue the search will be made after a full review of today's operation.

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.