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Seeking amplifying information

Page updated: 27 November 2020

As part of Initial Action, you should seek more information about the incident and the subject. This information is called amplifying information.

You can seek amplifying information in different ways

These include:

  • conducting a communication search
  • talking to relatives and friends
  • asking the public for information
  • consulting a medical specialist
  • carrying out other investigations.


A communication search involves broadcasting information

You can do this by broadcasting known information about the incident on:

  • publicly accessible radio frequencies
  • social media
  • communication networks used for specific kinds of transport.


Use marine VHF channels for communication searches about marine incidents

These include:

  • VHF channel 16
  • any local marine VHF channels near the incident that are known to be used or monitored by local traffic.

You should also use any other radio channels that can be accessed by the public, including commercial broadcast band.


You can request digital data as part of a communication search

For example, you can ask for cell phone data and radio transmissions from the subject. You can analyse these transmissions to plan the search.


Talk to relatives and friends

The information you gather from relatives and friends can significantly influence how you search for the subject, so contact them as soon as you can.

Relatives and friends of the subject may be able to give you detailed information about the subject including:

  • the equipment the subject has or usually carries
  • the subject's physical and mental condition and capabilities.


Maintain contact throughout the SAR operation

Work out a process for maintaining contact with relatives and friends throughout the SAR operation. Communicating with friends and family of the subject throughout the SAR operation will:

  • give you a valuable source of information
  • allow you to reassure the family about the progress of the operation.


Ask the public for information

Let people know about the SAR operation. It shouldn't be a secret. The more people who know that the subject is likely to be in distress, the more information and resources you are likely to get.


Choose the best way to get the information you want from the public

You can ask the public for information by:

  • using the NZ Police National Media Hub to contact the news media (broadcast band radio services) and getting them to broadcast information about the incident
  • asking specialist district intelligence units that are part of the NZ Police to search for information or ask the public for information through their social media platforms
  • using common aviation frequencies through Airways.
  • ask the Marine Operations Center (MOC) to broadcast ‘all stations’ messages on local coastal marine stations and the NZ Maritime radio network
  • get operation centers at regional Coastguard organisations to broadcast ‘all stations’ messages on local coastal marine frequencies.


Carry out other investigations

As part of Initial Action, you should also carry out other investigations to find out what is likely to have happened to the subject and where they might be. For example, you might ask an aircraft manufacturer or operator about the kind of aircraft to get a better understanding of a missing aircraft's characteristics and capabilities.

Need to report someone lost or missing? call 111 - Ask for police