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Fiji Rescue Coordination Centre to be established

18:35 Wed Mar 14, 2018


Taken from/By: FBC News
Report by: Maggie Boyle

The tragic plane crash that claimed the lives of Pacific Flying School Instructor Pilot, Iliesa Tawalo and Trainee Pilot Merelesita Lutu on a 172 Cessna training aircraft two weeks ago has propelled government to establish a national rescue centre by year end.

Minister for Defence Ratu Inoke Kubuabola in a ministerial statement in Parliament today noted that from the search and rescue mission in Labasa, there were a number of lessons learnt.

These lessons Kubuabola says will form part of the draft of a search and rescue manual which is expected to be finalised in June.

The Minister says the draft manual will form the framework for operations of a national search and rescue agency.

“The proposed Search and Rescue Bill which we hope to present in Parliament this year empowers agencies in particular the establishment of the Fiji Rescue Coordination Centre and the subsequent alignment of the three classes of search and rescue, namely land, maritime and aeronautical rescue to the Fiji Rescue Coordination Centre. Madam Speaker this centre is envisioned to align and put in place existing fragmented responses into a more coordinated approach.”

Kubuabola says through the national agency, a more coordinated approach will include oversight of resource deployment, command and control.

He has clarified that all of the measures taken in the retrieval of the bodies of the two pilots were deliberate and delays in the mission were the result of bad weather.



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