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Rescue at sea, four local fishermen rescued alive and well six hours after boat capsized

[SN file photo]

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Four fishermen who spent hours huddling together on their capsized boat off the coast of American Samoa have been rescued.

Large swells overturned the 33 foot fishing vessel at three o'clock on Wednesday morning.

At daybreak, one of the men swam under the boat and retrieved the locator beacon and set it off.

Rescue Co-ordination Centre New Zealand says it received the alert at seven o'clock in the morning and the group was found in 45 minutes.

An officer for American Samoa's Marine Patrol Unit, Tapu Ranger Maiava, said when his crew arrived, the crew were clinging onto the hull of the upturned vessel, which was rapidly sinking.

He said all four were thirsty and cold, but are otherwise in good health and had been returned safely to Pago Pago.