Rescue helicopters join forces for search off coast of Gisborne

Rescue helicopters joined forces to conduct a search off the coast of Gisborne.

RESCUE helicopters searched the waters off Gisborne for more than two hours on Friday after a passenger on the Ovation of the Seas cruise ship reported seeing what they thought might be a body in the water.

Dispatched by the Rescue Co-Ordination Centre, Gisborne’s Trust Tairawhiti Eastland Helicopter Rescue crew launched just before 6pm to search an area 25 nautical miles off the coast of Gisborne.

They were joined about half an hour later by a Hawke’s Bay Rescue Helicopter crew, who had been in Gisborne delivering a patient.

A Gisborne crew spokesperson said each helicopter had a fuel capacity of two hours to spend circling the search area, by which time failing visibility forced them to call off the search.

In the absence of further information, Maritime NZ opted not to resume the search the following morning.

Photo Credit: File photo