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French navy visiting Rarotonga

Thursday July 19, 2018 Written by Published in Local
Bougainville captain lieutenant commander Alexis Gollnisch. 18071815 Bougainville captain lieutenant commander Alexis Gollnisch. 18071815

In amongst many different vessels of all shapes and sizes coming and going at Avatiu Wharf this week, the French naval vessel Bougainville has called into port for a goodwill visit to the Cook Islands.

 

The ship, which arrived in Rarotonga on Tuesday, is here until she returns to Tahiti on Saturday and is captained by Lieutenant Commander Alexis Gollnisch.

The ship has 23 naval personnel onboard, something that Gollnisch said is due to the ship’s automated system.

“We can function with 23 onboard – this is compared to our other ship Arago that was here in April, which had 30 onboard.”

Gollnisch said the one of the purposes of the vessel was surveillance, focussed in particular on the fisheries industry in Pacific waters.

The ship is 65 metres in length and 14 metres wide, with a maximum speed of 14 knots.

Bougainville spends roughly 260 days away from its home port each year, with two crews alternating their time onboard every four months.

The ship carries two RHIBs (Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats), which can travel between 25 and 30 knots at top speed.

Like yesterday, the ship is again open to the public today from 9am-12pm. The crew ask that groups are no larger than six people at a time, and those wanting more information can contact French honorary consul Patricia Barton on 55102.