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French navy ship on way to island

Monday August 21, 2017 Written by Published in Local
French Navy Vessel, Arago recently visited Penryn as part of a courtesy visit to the Cook Islands. The boats captain invited Mayor Rio Teika, Member of Parliament Willie John, Councillor Saitu Marsters, Councillor Mataora Marsters, Government Representative Takake Akatapuria, and acting Executive Offi cer Tamu Tapaitau aboard for a three course lunch and tour of the 1990 patrol boat. 17081730 French Navy Vessel, Arago recently visited Penryn as part of a courtesy visit to the Cook Islands. The boats captain invited Mayor Rio Teika, Member of Parliament Willie John, Councillor Saitu Marsters, Councillor Mataora Marsters, Government Representative Takake Akatapuria, and acting Executive Offi cer Tamu Tapaitau aboard for a three course lunch and tour of the 1990 patrol boat. 17081730

A French Navy vessel is now sailing in Cook Islands waters and is due to dock at Avatiu in early September.

 

The 59-metre-long vessel, Arago last week paid a courtesy visit to Penrhyn, where the crew welcomed ministerial and government representatives aboard for lunch and a tour.

Those who joined the crew on board for a three course meal included mayor Rio Teika, MP Willie John, councillors Saitu Marsters and Mataora Marsters, government representative Takake Akatapuria, and acting executive officer Tamu Tapaitau.

Following lunch, Penrhyn locals took the captain for a tour around the island, giving the visitors a first-hand insight into life on the remote northern island.

After encountering engine problems, the ship was required to anchor beyond the reef, but despite the setback ship is now slowly making its way to Rarotonga.

Arago was launched in September, 1990 as a hydrographic survey vessel before becoming a patrol boat. The vessel is 59 metres long, with a beam of 10.9 metres and a displacement of 850 tonnes/1100 tonnes.

It has an armament of 2/12.7mm machine guns, and can travel at a speed of 15 knots.

The ship has made previous visits to Rarotonga. In 2015 it took part in the Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Agency (FFA)-led operation Tui Moana.

The operation was one of an annual series of four monitoring, control and surveillance operations, aimed at curbing illegal fishing throughout the central and south Pacific.

The vessel will dock in Rarotonga September 3, where it will remain till September 6.

The public is welcome to board and view Arago during the afternoon of September 3 and 4 between 2.00 and 5.00 pm.

Honorary French consul Patricia Barton said Arago’s visit to the Cook Islands was long overdue and offered locals an opportunity to meet with the crew.

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