Distress flare prompts search

By Staff reporter

The Tauranga-based TrustPower TECT rescue helicopter searched Bay of Plenty waters after an emergency flare was sighted last night.

The rescue helicopter was called to Whale Island, off the coast of Whakatane, about 9.30pm, after an emergency flare was sighted by four people.

Whakatane police contacted the rescue helicopter, who joined in the search with two pilots and a crewman on board.

Helicopter pilot Todd Dunham said they used specialised equipment including night vision goggles to search around the island and the off the coast.

Rescuers did not find anyone in distress and the search was called off due to bad weather rolling in, Mr Dunham said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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