The Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter brought an extra pilot on so the team had four pairs of eyes – instead of the usual three – for a search off the coast of Gisborne on Monday.
Just after 3am on Monday morning Maritime NZ’s Rescue Co-Ordination Centre (RCCNZ) received reports that multiple flare sightings had been spotted from Tatapouri.
As a result, Gisborne Police and local Coastguard were notified and the Rescue Helicopter crew joined the search at 7am, when visibility improved.
Nothing was found after an initial search and after about an hour the helicopter returned to base to escape approaching bad weather.
But as conditions improved the Trust Tairāwhiti Eastland Rescue Helicopter was recalled at 10.30am and spent another hour searching the designated area about eight nautical miles off Makorori Beach,and along the coast towards Whangara.
Maritime NZ says there were no reports of missing or overdue vessels in the area.
And as no further information was relayed in relation to the apparent flare sighting, the job was closed by RCCNZ on Monday evening.
Photo credit: File Photo