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Rescue mission coordinated for missionary group

Authorities are coordinating the rescue of five people, sailing from Gladstone in central Queensland to the Pacific Islands.

The North Queensland missionary group sent out a mayday after their engine broke down in the Coral Sea.

A cyclone in the region is causing added concern.

Ben Mitchell, from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, says a merchant ship has been directed to the area and should arrive early Saturday morning.

"These people sail around the South Pacific spreading the word of God and they've run into some trouble with the engine on their vessel," he said.

"They're also facing the prospect of Cyclone Gina heading in their direction, they're not confident enough that they can sail the vessel to avoid Cyclone Gina so they've declared a mayday and requested to be picked up."

[ more news ]

Last Updated: 00:50 AEST


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Issued 23/06/2003 at 11:41 AEST
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