French patrol boat to call at Rarotonga

Monday April 16, 2018 Written by Published in Local
The French Navy vessel Arago out on patrol. The French Navy vessel Arago out on patrol.

The Tahiti-based French Navy patrol boat Arago will make a stop at Avatiu Harbour from April 19 to 21.

 

The ship will be open to the public, with visitors welcome onboard on Friday April 20 from 8am to 11.30am and 2pm to 5pm, and on Saturday April 21 from 8am to 11.30am.

Since leaving her home port of Papeete on April 10 the Arao has been patrolling in the Australes archipelago.

After her visit to Rarotonga, the ship will head north to board and inspect fishing vessels for any infringements, with assistance from the Cook Islands patrol boat Te Kukupa.

The Arago was launched in September of 1990 as a hydrographic survey vessel, before becoming a patrol boat. The ship is 59 metres long, with a beam of 10.9 metres and can travel at a speed of 15 knots.

Her most recent visit to Rarotonga was in September of last year and the Arago crew are said to be looking forward to presenting the ship to new visitors and outlining the mission of French armed forces in Polynesia.

Each tour has capacity for 10 people and lasts about 30 minutes. Tours will be conducted on a “first in, first served basis” with no booking necessary, although identification will be required to board the ship.

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