PALAU PATROL VESSEL REPAIRED IN AUSTRALIA

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Australian government picks up $246,000 tab

KOROR Palau (Palau Horizon, July 29, 2009) — The PSS Remeliik is back after a month of absence in the Palau waters because of some machinery problem.

13 crewmembers of the PSS Remeliik patrol ship left on June 2 for Australia for repair.

The ship arrived on Friday morning and was welcomed back by Minister Johnny Gibbons and the other personnel of the Minister of Justice and the Bureau of Marine Law Enforcement Office.

Lt. Commander Kimbal Dunsmore, Maritime Surveillance Adviser said the Australian government spent 300,000 Australian dollars [US$246,000] for the repair of the boat.

Minister of Justice Gibbons in a separate interview thanked the Australian government for the assistance to fix the boat.

"We will send diplomatic note to Australian government to thank them for their assistance. We were able to secure funding for the repair of the boat," Minister Gibbons said.

The Minister said he was happy to see the crewmembers back in the island to be with their family again.

"It’s kind of emotional thing when you saw people left to go to other place and returned later with some good news," Minister Gibbons said.

Gibbons added that training for the patrol boat is also on going and is being funded by the Australian government.

"There will be more training for the personnel of the Ministry of Justice. There are four Marine Law Enforcement officers who are undergoing six months training right now," he said.

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