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Maritime NZ helps check Cooks’ boat safety

Saturday 12 June 2021 | Written by Caleb Fotheringham | Published in Economy, National

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Maritime NZ helps check Cooks’ boat safety
Cook Islands Transport carried out inspections on boats and ships including larger domestic fleets. 21061133

A team of technical advisors from Maritime New Zealand will work under Cook Islands Transport to make sure boats are safe before the New Zealand July school holidays.

A team of technical advisors from Maritime New Zealand will work under Cook Islands Transport to make sure boats are safe before the New Zealand July school holidays.

The team of five will be in Rarotonga from June 14 to 20 and Aitutaki from June 21 to 25. 

The technical advisors will support a Cook Islands Ministry of Transport team who will be checking domestic, chartered, and small vessels.

Heading the operation is Cook Islands Secretary of Transport, John Hosking, who said he would look at vessels that travel beyond the reef.

Hosking said he will try his best to look at the approximately 14 chartered fishing vessels in Rarotonga. He said he’s notified the vessel owners about the safety check.

“They’re happy because they see the value of being complaint,” Hosking said.

For smaller fishing vessels, the safety check will focus on the safety equipment boats have on board but for larger domestic fleets, the whole vessel will be checked.

The domestic fleets being checked are Taio Shipping Limited’s, MV Grinna II (cargo/passengers) and MV Lady Moana (cargo). Cook Islands General Transport’s MV Taunga Nui (barge) and TaRo Enterprises, MV Gold Country (cargo).

A media release from Maritime New Zealand said safety advice to operators will also be part of the campaign.

The release said vessels that operate for tourists will be checked to make sure they’re in good condition ahead of the July school holidays.

Pacific Maritime Safety Programme manager David Billington said: “We’re honoured to be invited to support this campaign and looking forward to working alongside our Pacific colleagues for the first time in over a year.”

“With the bubble opening with the Cook Islands, it’s effectively the beginning of what could be a really bumper tourist season – so it’s the perfect time to launch a big safety campaign and really make sure all their vessels are in good shape.”

Hosking said: “At the end of the day, we want everyone to come home safely. That’s our focus and we welcome the support from New Zealand.”