New Zealand plane rescues two different boats that had been adrift at sea for days

An air force plane in New Zealand rescued seven people stranded in two boats near the remote island nation of Kiribati on Monday.

The Air Force Orion crew found the two boats within 10 nautical miles of each other after they went missing in separate incidents last week. They dropped survival kits with water and locator beacons to those on board.

All the survivors appeared to be in good health, authorities said.

Both vessels had been reported missing from Kiribati, which is located 3,000km south of Hawaii in the central Pacific Ocean.

One of the boats had drifted 150 nautical miles (280km) from its intended course, while the other one was closer to where it had gone missing near Makin Island, a military spokesperson said.

The Rescue Coordination Centre NZ sought air force assistance on Sunday on behalf of Rescue Coordination Centre Fiji and Kiribati search and rescue authorities when a 5m yellow-hulled wooden boat was reported overdue from a trip from Makin Island to Butaritari Island, Kiribati.

The boat, with four people on board including two men, a woman and an 11-year-old, had left Makin Island on Friday, said the New Zealand Defence Force in a press release.

However, the crew first found another missing vessel, Woodhaven III, with three people aboard. It had been reported missing from Kiribati late last week after it drifted 150 nautical miles from its intended course.

The air force crew found the yellow-hulled vessel from Makin Island shortly after.

Air commodore Shaun Sexton told media personnel after the rescue operation that it was a great result to be able to find the survivors on both boats.

Additional reporting by agencies

Douglas Mateo

Douglas holds a position as a content writer at Neptune Pine. His academic qualifications in journalism and home science have offered her a wide base from which to line various topics. He has a proficiency in scripting articles related to the Health industry, including new findings, disease-related, or epidemic-related news. Apart from this, Douglas writes an independent blog and assists people in living healthy life.

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