New Zealand’s P-3K2 Orion that located the burnt Chinese fishing vessel yesterday was re-tasked this morning with finding a man overboard from the same vessel.
CAPTION: A crew member from the Chinese fishing vessel Jin Xiang 6, who was reported missing overboard after the vessel caught fire, drags his gear aboard a life raft dropped to him by a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion. NZDF photo.
Right: The scene of the rescue, between Tuvalu and Solomon Islands. Google Earth.
Royal New Zealand Air Force Orion was re-tasked by Rescue Coordination Centre Fiji (RCCFJ), in coordination with Research Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ), to search for the crew members that had been reported overboard.
The Orion located the man clinging to a buoy near where the vessel was discovered yesterday, about 400 nautical miles west of Tuvalu.
After finding the last crew member in the water, the Orion dropped a life raft, which the man boarded.
The Orion contacted the Jin Xiang 7, the sister vessel of the damaged Jin Xiang 6, which had rescued 17 of the 18 crew, including three of four who were initially reported overboard.
At time of reporting, the Orion was still coordinating with the Jin Xiang 7 to arrange the man’s rescue from the water and the Kiwi crew intended to stay overhead as long as they could.