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New patrol boat takes part in first regional co-operation exercises

Friday 28 October 2022 | Written by Al Williams | Published in National, Outer Islands

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New patrol boat takes part in first regional co-operation exercises
Tongareva children welcome Te Kukupa II. PHOTOS: COOK ISLANDS POLICE /22102706

New Cook Islands patrol boat Te Kukupa II has been on the high seas conducting regional co-operation exercises.

That included a refuelling stop at Tongareva this week.

While police spokesman Trevor Pitt confirmed the boat had been engaged in regional co-operation exercises, he said more information about the exercises would be issued in due course.

However, Pitt did say the refuelling stop at Tongareva was “a perfect opportunity for the community there to extend a formal welcome to Te Kukupa II and its crew”. 

The stop was the first outer islands' visit by the patrol boat, and maritime members were treated to a “warm, Tongareva reception”, Pitt said.   

During a kaikai on the island, Captain Tauariki Henry and his crew introduced themselves, and were pleased to impress youth with a closer look around the vessel. 

Following its operational surveillance duty, the patrol boat was due back in port yesterday.

The vessel first arrived in Rarotonga from Australia in July. 

It is 39.5 metres long, has a steel monohulled design and is capable of travelling 3000 nautical miles (5,600 km; 3,500 mi) at 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph), with a maximum speed of 20 knots (37 km/h; 23 mph).

The 15th Guardian-class patrol boat gifted by Australia replaces the original Te Kukupa which gave 33 years of service to the Cook Islands.