A Royal New Zealand Air Force plane on a fisheries patrol has dropped water and communications equipment to a fire-damaged Chinese vessel located about 400 nautical miles off Tuvalu.
The P-3K2 Orion aircraft was on a fisheries patrol when it located the damaged vessel, Jin Xiang 6.
As a result of the drop, which also included lighting, communication was established with the vessel.
It is reported there are 14 people on the vessel and the fire is under control.
The Orion has communicated to the distressed vessel’s sister ship Jin Xiang 7 for a pick-up.
The P-3K2 returned to Nauru, having reached its maximum flying endurance with an RNZAF Hercules C-130 aircraft on standby to support.
Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand was notified about the fire and is gathering information to see what assistance can be provided to Fiji, where any response will be coordinated.