NZ Navy Vessel Picks Up 50 Infringements In Fijian Waters

Navy vessel has also been training members of the Fijian Navy,  deployment marks the first time that a New Zealand Navy Inshore Patrol Vessel had been deployed to the South Pacific

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, July 22, 2017) – A New Zealand Navy inshore patrol vessel has so far picked up 50 infringements during its deployment to Fiji.

The HMNZS Hawea has been helping monitor Fiji's territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone since April and, in that time ,has boarded about 280 vessels ranging from small boats to offshore fishing vessels.

Commanding Officer of the Hawea Lieutenant Dave Luhrs said his crew had dealt with a diverse range of infringements.

"Not having life jackets, not having a boat master's certification, overloading."

"Others have been licensing, the illegal use of underwater breathing apparatus such as scuba gear for fishing, and others things such as and he illegal discharge of oil or diesel overboard, the illegal dumping of rubbish and infringements that are customs related," he said.

The Hawea had also been training members of the Fijian Navy and its deployment to marks the first time that a New Zealand Navy Inshore Patrol Vessel had been deployed to the South Pacific.

Lieutenant Luhrs said that the training had given both crews the chance to learn from each other and form a bond.

On each of the Hawea's seven-day patrols we usually have about ten Fijians on board - four of which are customs and fisheries and six of which are Fijian Navy.

And the Fijian navy personnel have been working to integrate in all areas of the vessel, Lieutenant Luhrs said.

"So there's a lot around seamanship - so around the launch and recovery or boats, assisting with sailing the ship, weigh and anchoring and entering harbour and getting involved in the boarding themselves, so there's a lot of general duties which are undertaken on board an ITV which are completed by everyone on board."

He said they are trained to do more trade-specific activities as well. Fijian naval engineers are buddied up with our one of New Zealand engineers and are taught about their systems on the ship.

"I think it's important because both of our navies have different strengths, we are both learning a lot. We're learning about reef navigation and how to operate in this type of environment. Similarly we're maybe more skilled in other areas such as some of our specific seamanship and specific navigation tasks.

"So we're basically building on each other's strengths."

Radio New Zealand International
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