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NZDF Joins Search for Two Missing Kiribati Vessels

Air Component Commander Air Commodore Tim Walshe said a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion aircraft left Auckland at 6am and was expected to reach the search area, 4085 kilometres north of New Zealand, at midday.

One of the missing vessels was a six-metre wooden boat with three people on board, Air Commodore Walshe said.

The second vessel is a four-metre canoe with one person on board.

The Fiji Maritime Surveillance Rescue Coordination Centre, which is responsible for the search area, requested assistance from the NZDF on Sunday after a search by a local patrol boat failed to find either vessel on Friday.

The two missing vessels were last seen by a local search aircraft late on Friday afternoon.

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