26 Nov 2012

Widened search for missing i-Kiribati fishermen

2:31 pm on 26 November 2012

Maritime New Zealand has extended its search for three missing i-Kiribati fishermen.

The men, who have been missing since Thursday, were on board a six-metre wooden boat with an outboard motor.

An Air Force Orion aeroplane arrived in Tarawa yesterday and searched an area of about 42 thousand square kilometres.

Maritime New Zealand's Steve Rendle says the plane will extend its search zone through today.

"The RNZAF P3 Orion has resumed searching this morning over an extended search area. This includes a little of the search area from yesterday that has been updated with the help of Search and Rescue in Honolulu to take into account current patterns there."

Steve Rendle says favourable weather conditions in Kiribati mean there is a good likelihood of finding the fishermen in the vessel.