A NZ Air Force Orion that was sent to help find a boat missing near Fiji with nine people on board has been stood down after the occupants were found safe and well.

Rescue crews have been searching for the vessel since Christmas Day after it disappeared on a return trip to Tovu on Totoya Island.

It had run out of fuel but was found washed ashore this morning, the NZ Defence Force said.

Local search and rescue began looking for the vessel on Christmas Day and the Fijian Rescue Coordination Centre asked for Kiwi help through the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand.


New Zealand sent a P-3K2 Orion, which Air Force Air Commodore Darryn Webb said was "uniquely equipped" for the search.

"[It] is the best means to locate missing boats in the South Pacific," Webb said.

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