Boat carrying 11 people missing off Tonga


NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga: Rescuers launched an air and sea search on Tuesday for a boat missing in Pacific waters off Tonga carrying 11 people, including up to five children. Tongan police said the boat set off from the capital Nuku’alofa with another vessel on Monday afternoon and was due to arrive overnight in Fonoifua island, about 90 kilometers (55 miles) northeast. One boat docked as scheduled but there was no sign of the second, prompting police to call in a naval vessel and tell other boats to be on the lookout. A New Zealand air force P3-Orion also scoured the area for three hours without success and Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) said another Orion and a helicopter would resume the search on Wednesday. “The suspicion is it could be the motor must’ve died, they must be drifting,” deputy police commissioner Pelenatita Vaisuai told Radio New Zealand.



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