Travelling through calm seas, the vessel was scheduled to arrive at Vanuatu’s Mala police patrol base yesterday, where it will take on roughly 14,500 litres of diesel fuel before setting sail for the final leg to Cairns on Monday.
Lieutenant Commander Tony Grubb, the New Zealand Maritime Surveillance Advisor for the Cook Islands Police, said he has been in daily radio contact with the crew and all is well onboard.
Grubb said the passage thus far has been uneventful.
After departing from Avatiu port on August 25, he said the boat experienced rough seas as it sailed to Tonga.
Te Kukupa arrived at Tonga’s Masefield Base last Saturday, where it re-fuelled and remained berthed before sailing for Vanuatu earlier this week.
All fuel has been funded by the Government of Australia during the journey, he said.
Upon arriving in Cairns, Te Kukupa is scheduled to undergo an extensive refit which will include generator and engine refits, a survey of the hull, new navigation and communications systems, and the setup of a new galley.
The work is expected to take six months, at which time a local crew will fly to Cairns to sail the vessel back to Rarotonga.
Te Kukupa island hops for third refit in Cairns
Police patrol boat Te Kukupa is roughly halfway through its journey to Australia, where it is scheduled to undergo a major refit.
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The Cook Islands News Team