Five Solomon Islanders reported missing near the Santa Cruz Island group have been rescued following an overnight dash by the Australian Air Force.A RAAF C130H Hercules was deployed at the request of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority and the Solomon Islands government.
The Hercules crew spotted the islanders sheltering on an island yesterday about 11:00am (local time) and they were rescued by helicopter.
In a statement, Acting Chief of Joint Operations Command Rear Admiral Ray Griggs said the C130 and crew deployed at extremely short notice.
"Thankfully, the search area was well defined and this, combined with the crew and equipment onboard the aircraft, assisted in efforts to find the missing vessel," Rear Admiral Griggs said.
"The C130 crew can be very proud of their role in ensuring these five people were safely recovered.
"The mission highlights our ability to react quickly to a range of different contingencies."