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Search off Lord Howe Island

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The Royal New Zealand Air Force today joined the RAAF

in an ocean search off Lord Howe Island.

The search began on Monday when a commercial

airliner flying from Sydney to Fiji intercepted a radio

distress signal.

A RAAF Hercules found the signal was coming from an

emergency bouy floating two hundred miles north east of

Lord Howe Island. The orange coloured bouy, about two feet

in diameter, was identified as a type commonly carried

by merchant ships and fishing boats. When immersed, the bouy‘s

battery-operated radio automatically transmits a signal on

the international shipping distress frequency.

No vessels have been reported missing or overdue in

the area. However, RAAF Orion and Hercules aircraft have continued

searching for possible wreckage or survivors. Yesterday

afternoon, the crew of a Hercules sighted what may have been A

a partly submerged two-man life raft. Visibility was too poor

to confirm the sighting.

Two RNZAF Orion aircraft joined the search today

to try to re-locate the object, and the RAAF will resume the

search at first light tomorrow. * ■ * ■ * # * * * * * * # * ■ - I H H H t * # · * · · * * · * # * # * * * *

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