Australia provides equipment to boost police maritime surveillance

The Police Patrol Boat, Nafanua in port.

By Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA – WEDNESDAY 15 AUGUST 2018: The Australian Government yesterday donated equipment to assist with the maintenance of the police patrol and rescue boat Nafanua.

The equipment worth AUST$60,000 were provided under the Australian Defence Cooperation Program with the Samoa police Maritime and included two large toolboxes, two large 350L flameproof chemical storage lockers, multiple items of personal protective equipment (PPE) including ear protectors, safety glasses, respirators, gloves and safety overalls.

They also included two grinders and associated fittings, three orbital sanders and fittings, fire retardant rope two tonnes of paint for the vessel and the slipping hardware and parts,

The Australian High Commissioner to Samoa, Her Excellency Sara Moriaty handed over the equipment and emphasized Australia’s commitment to Samoa as evident in the support of maintaining safety of the boat and her crew.

“This is to ensure that the Nafanua maintenance stays at a very high quality,” said Her Excellency.

She also said the equipment donate cements a long standing commitment from Australia which will be continued to a higher level of standard for the remaining duration of the Nafanua service.

Australia is also funding a new patrol boat, Nafanua 11 which is expected to arrive in Samoa next year.

The Nafanua has served Samoa and the region for 30 years, and rather than continuing on a costly maintenance budget, a new boat Nafanua 11 will replace the old one.

The Nafanua captain, Inspector Sefo Fa’afoi Hunt, once the new bat arrives, then the old one will be returned to Australia.

Hunt said there are local interests in the boat, however, the Australian Maritime’s priority is for safety.