Give them medals

Friday November 03, 2017 Published in Smoke Signals

The crew of the Te Kukupa deserve congratulations for the rescue of a yachtsman they carried out in rough weather 390 nautical miles southwest of the Cook Islands this week. These guys, led by Tepaki Baxter, regularly put their lives on the line to save others. Well done, all of you! I reckon you deserve a medal.

 

WHO WILL PAY FOR SEARCH?

Another question that needs to be answered is who will take responsibility for the cost of rescuing the yacht’s skipper, who was about to abandon ship when he was finally rescued by the brave men of Te Kukupa. Apparently the ill-fated Zangano, which had recently been fitted with an array of new equipment, wasn’t insured, which would indicate that perhaps its owner’s pockets won’t be deep enough to pay for the Police Maritime Unit’s costly search and rescue operation. The police budget surely wouldn’t cope with this either. The fuel bill alone must have been astronomical.

WHO IS LEADING OUR COUNTRY?

In the meantime, the country is presumably being run by deputy prime minister Teariki Heather, who rarely makes any public pronouncements of any kind, being more of a quiet “action” kind of guy. If he’s not doing the job, it must surely be Finance minister Mark Brown who is running the country. And having recently put his foot firmly in his mouth by mounting a vicious public attack on a local man, he won’t be saying much either. Rumour has it that he may soon be hearing from a lawyer in connection with the letter he wrote about a certain resident who loves to take pot shots at the CIP government.

POOCHES AT THE PALACE

Great to see the recent police dog patrols to round up wandering pooches around the Te Au O Tonga district was a success. Only around five non-tagged and very hungry ones were seen ‘queuing’ for food at the Palace around 7pm Wednesday night. With no owners in sight they were very well behaved customers... fortunately only nipping at scraps on the footpath and not biting the children enjoying their fries.

HELPING TO SAVE THE WORLD

With the increasing number of tourists arriving on Rarotonga and more pressure on our seriously ailing infrastructure and the environment, you’d think the prime minister would be home helping to sort out some of these problems. But no, he’s in Germany helping sort out the problems of the world – and he won’t be home till November 20. This points to the second parliamentary sitting for the year – a derisory affair which achieves practically nothing, taking place as usual in December.

YACHT SAFETY

Questions have to be asked as to why the yacht Zangano, which has been sitting idle and unloved at the wharf for more than a year, was allowed to leave port. The original idea, apparently was that the new owner would lift it out of the water and carry out much-needed repairs on the hard. That was what CINews was told back in May. But of course this didn’t happen and the repairs were evidently made while the boat was still in the water. Looking at the number of things that went wrong soon after the yacht left Avatiu, surely the tatty-looking vessel should never have been permitted to attempt an international journey in the first place. The Ports Authority said it was happy with the vessel’s seaworthiness while it was in port, and passed on responsibility to the Transport Department, which doesn’t appear to have done anything. Surely someone should be responsible for ensuring yachts that leave this island are in fit condition to be sailed. The equivalent of a warrant of fitness would do the trick and it might help avoid the Cook Islands Police Service from having to mount expensive and dangerous search and rescue missions.

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