Two boats missing within 10 nautical miles of each other in Kiribati have been rescued by the crew of a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion.
It comes after help was requested from the Rescue Coordination Centre NZ in the search for a five-metre yellow-hulled wooden boat reported overdue from a trip from Makin Island to Butaritari Island, in Kiribati, the New Zealand Defence Force said in a media release.
The boat – which had two men, a woman and an 11-year-old child on board – left Makin Island on Friday.
Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard was preparing to search for Woodhaven III, a vessel with three people on board which had been reported missing from Kiribati late last week.
The Orion found the Woodhaven III early on Monday morning as it searched the vicinity of Makin Island. It was located approximately 150 nautical miles from where the boat was thought to have gone missing.
The crew found the yellow-hulled vessel from Makin Island shortly after.
The survivors on both vessels appeared to be in good health.
Survival kits with water and locator beacons were dropped to those on board, before nearby vessels were contacted to aid in their rescue.
Air Component Commander Air Commodore Shaun Sexton said it was a great result to be able to locate the survivors on both boats.