Tonga police warn boaters after three fishermen rescued at sea

Police have once again raised concerns about marine safety after three fishermen were rescued at sea on Monday 1. 

Lilite 5 left on a fishing trip before its engine died.  

Deputy Police Commissioner ‘Atunaisa Taumoepeau said the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) alerted Tongan authority after it picked up a distress signal from the boat about 76 kilometres south of Tongatapu.

Taumoepeau told Radio Tonga news since the boat’s beacon was not registered with Tongan Police it was hard for them to immediately dispatch a rescue team to help it.

He thanked the boating community for their help in which it enabled Police to identify the boat.

Taumoepeau said all boats’ beacons must be registered with Police so they could know the owners and names of the boats for safety reasons.

He also warned boaters to make sure they read their pre-departure checklists before leaving.  

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