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Cooks hold special place in navy commander’s heart

Saturday August 17, 2019 Written by Published in Local
HMNZS tied up at Avarua wharf. 19081649 HMNZS tied up at Avarua wharf. 19081649

Officers and crew of the Royal NZ Navy patrol vessel HMNZS Otago are in town this weekend for a break, after a long stint out on fisheries patrol in the high seas.


The Otago tied up at Avarua Wharf yesterday morning, to allow the crew some rest and relaxation.

Officers and crew were at the Rarotonga Game Fishing Club last night to watch New Zealand play Australia in the Bledisloe Cup.

The Cooks have a special place in the heart of the Otago’s captain, Lieutenant Commander Ben Martin: his wife’s family is from Mangaia and Pukapuka

Martin, a youthful 34-year-old, has strong navy connections, as his grandfathers and great-uncle, all from the Otago’s home port of Dunedin, had also served as navy commanders.

His father, Rear Admiral John Martin, was chief of the Royal New Zealand Navy when he retired last year, and his great-uncle served as executive officer on the frigate Otago in the 1980s.