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Fiji Navy rescued Five Members with co-ordinated operation

Leeuwin ship of Fiji Navy

Fiji, April 28 (Uitv):-The search and rescue operation that saved the lives of a doctor, a nurse and three others in open sea was coordinated by the Fiji Navy. This was clarified by the chief of Navy, Captain (Navy) Humphrey Tawake, who says it was a joint effort by the Fiji Navy Ship (RFNS) Kula, the Police and Northern Air.

Yesterday it was reported that the operation involved by Helipro Fiji, the Fiji Navy and a doctor on Moala. This followed a statement issued by the helicopter company. Captain Tawake says the Fiji Navy was the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) and Northern Air was tasked to conduct the search with Fijian Navy personnel on board.

 Northern Air manager Flight Operations Captain Rainjesh San says that they received a call from the Fiji Navy who requested their assistance in the search. Captain San says that they were thankful that they helped in the search. He says Northern Air had expertise in the search and rescue area.

He says they had been working closely with the Fiji Navy. He thanked Fiji Navy for contacting them and wanted to continue working closely with them. He says Northern Air's senior pilot, Captain Niko Droto, had a lot of experience in search and rescue and had been co-ordinating such rescue in the past. Captain Droto Saud on Tuesday midday they received a call from the Fiji Navy to help conduct a rescue between Gau and Moala. He says they used their ten-seater, two engine aircraft Britten-Norman Islander for the search.

Image of boat with five survivors in Moala waters.

He says at around 1.30 pm on Tuesday they located the boat on the west of Moala. Captain Droto says they identified the crew and the information was relayed to the Navy vessel which was an hour away from where the survivors were found.

The five rescued were on their way back to Gau from Levuka on Sunday when their boat engine ran out of fuel and they started to drift. They had accompanied a sick patient from Gau to Levuka Hospital. A doctor on Moala had made contacts with his doctor colleague during the drift and alerted the authorities.