Search and rescue operations (SAROPs) within New Zealand’s search and rescue region are coordinated either by the Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) or the New Zealand Police.
The Rescue Coordination Centre New Zealand (RCCNZ) is responsible for coordinating:
All these RCCNZ-coordinated SAROPs are termed Category II SAROPs, which are initiated because an aircraft, vessel or person is believed to be in distress. These SAROPs often require the coordination of national and international civil and military resources.
The New Zealand Police co-ordinate Category I search and rescue incidents. Category I searches are where the Police do not require any additional assistance.
Category I SAROPs include:
The RCCNZ sometimes provides support and advice to the New Zealand Police during Category I SAROPs, however, the New Zealand Police remain responsible for Category I operations
Category I search and rescue SAROPs [New Zealand Police]
A RCCNZ search and rescue response may start with a telephone call, a radio message, a distress beacon alert, an email or a request from the New Zealand Police.
As the information comes in, the search and rescue officers at RCCNZ will gather and sort the information, analyse the incident and then plan the response.
The search and rescue officers determine the area to be searched and then plan the search strategy. If necessary they will consult with specialist aviation, defence force, marine, Police and land search and rescue advisors. They will then task the aircraft, helicopters, ships, Coastguard or other groups and agencies to carry out the plan.
With the search and rescue underway, RCCNZ’s search and rescue officers:
A search and rescue incident ends only when all the people in distress have been accounted for and all the searchers have also returned safely.