8 Jan 2015

Missing Tonga fishermen found

4:51 pm on 8 January 2015

Four fishermen missing at sea near Tonga have landed safely on the coastal area of Fahefa after being stranded near Malinoa Island when their boat capsized.

Radio Tonga reports their vessel capsized on Tuesday evening.

A police inspector, 'Atunaisa Taumoepeau, says the four people from Tongatapu held onto the capsized boat about 20 miles north of Malinoa, and turned the beacon on to alert authorities.

The Tonga navy, police and New Zealand Maritime Coordination Centre have been searching for the vessel since yesterday morning.

Poor weather conditions and ash from a nearby volcanic eruption had hampered the search.