Story: Search and rescue

The Rose Noelle inquiry

In 1989 the trimaran Rose Noelle and its crew of four washed up on Great Barrier Island (Aotea) after four months adrift in the South Pacific. As this clip shows, questions were asked about the effectiveness of what were then known as Class III search and rescue operations. Signals from the vessel’s emergency beacon had not been picked up by searching aircraft because the search area was so wide. In response, a station was set up in Lower Hutt to pick up signals via satellite. Rescues at sea are now known as Category II searches. 

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick and Dan Clearwater, 'Search and rescue - New Zealand search and rescue organisations', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 27 February 2024)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick and Dan Clearwater, published 24 Sep 2007, reviewed & revised 27 Jul 2023 with assistance from Dan Clearwater