Missing Tongan fisherman found alive

A P-3K2 Orion aircraft was sent to help with the search (NZDF / supplied)
A P-3K2 Orion aircraft was sent to help with the search (NZDF / supplied)

A Tongan man who had been missing since Saturday has been found in the middle of the Pacific Ocean waving his paddles from a life raft.

A Rescue Coordination Centre of New Zealand (RCCNZ) search, with the assistance of the NZDF led to the man being found at around 2pm on Tuesday.

He was in the middle of a 4000 square kilometre search area.

The boat's engine had broken down on Saturday evening as he was returning to Ohonua Harbour on the Tongan island of Eua. 

Tongan Police began a search and were helped by the Air Force which sent a P-3K2 Orion aircraft to help.

RCCNZ Mission Coordinator Conrad Reynecke says Tongan Police will send a Police or Navy boat to where the man has been found, about 13  kilometres southeast of Eua Island.

The man was returning to Ohonua harbour when his boat's engine broke down, he was found 13km south-east of Eua Island (Google Maps)
The man was returning to Ohonua harbour when his boat's engine broke down, he was found 13km south-east of Eua Island (Google Maps)