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NZ To Deploy Hercules, Dive Team To Tonga

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
NZ To Deploy Hercules, Dive Team To Tonga

Prime Minister John Key said today that a Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft will leave for Tonga this afternoon with a Royal New Zealand Navy dive team and a remote search team following the ferry disaster.

"The New Zealand Government expresses its deep condolences to the people of Tonga following this tragedy," says Mr Key. "We have been very distressed to hear about the sinking of the ferry and the loss of life. The New Zealand Defence Force has already been involved in searching for survivors using Orion aircraft. "However, in consultation with the Government of Tonga, more assistance will be sent.

"The three members of the remote search team will operate an underwater search vessel alongside the 12-members of the RNZN Operational Dive Team, to carry out recovery of victims from the submerged ferry, the Princess Ashika.

"The Hercules carrying the dive team and remote search team is due to depart from Whenuapai at 6pm tonight and will arrive in Nuku'alofa at about 10.30pm (NZ time). "The latest deployment will join the air force Orion aircraft from No. 5 Squadron already in Tonga searching for survivors from the ferry sinking."

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