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New Zealand air force finds three missing Kiribati fishermen

(Xinhua)

10:26, March 07, 2012

WELLINGTON, March 7 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand air force has found three missing Kiribati fisherman including one who had been adrift in a small boat for about a week in a remote area of the Pacific Ocean.

The lone fisherman was spotted waving from his open 4.6-meter boat to the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) P3 Orion on Monday.

The man was found about 100 km from the fishing ground to the west of the island of Banaba.

The Orion crew found another two fishermen, who had been reported missing about 3 p.m. Monday, in their boat late on Tuesday, New Zealand Defence Force spokeswoman Katherine O'Donnell told Xinhua Wednesday.

O'Donnell could not give any other details on the second search

A statement from the NZDF said the Orion was able to drop supplies, including food, water and a radio, to the man found in the first operation.

The crew then informed a nearby fishing boat of the man's location, so it could pick him up, said the statement.

Kiribati, about 4,000 km southwest of Hawaii, is part of the Micronesian island group and comprises 32 coral atoll islands and the raised limestone island of Banaba.

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