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Search for fishing vessel in distress in Antarctica

Published on Mar 31, 2014 8:32 AM

SYDNEY (AFP) - There were grave concerns on Monday for a fishing vessel that issued a distress signal from an area near Antarctica where debris has been sighted.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) said it had detected an emergency distress beacon signal early Sunday about 648 kilometres north of the Antarctic mainland.

A civilian jet and an RAAF P3 Orion tasked with finding the vessel, thought to be a 75-metre Tanzanian-flagged fishing support ship, failed to do so in flyovers of the remote southern Indian Ocean area.

"The vessel was not located but debris was seen in the location of the beacon signal," AMSA said in a statement.

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