The highly anticipated new $30 million guardian-class boat for patrolling Samoan waters, the Nafanua II, docked in Matautu wharf on Friday morning after a long journey home from Australia.
The ship’s crew of 21 maritime Police Officers had sailed to Australia in the old Nafanua, which had been in service for just over three decades. After taking charge of the new vessel they were engaged in four months’ intensive training to familiarise themselves with the new ship’s capabilities.
The Police Commissioner, Fuiavailiili Egon Keil, said they would await the return of the Prime Minister, who is currently in Japan, before officially commissioning the vessel on October 15.
Otherwise, the Commissioner said he was grateful for a vessel to be back on island and with enhanced capabilities for securing Samoa’s border and detecting activities such as illegal fishing and drug smuggling.
Fuiavailiili said the new vessel will complement Samoa’s existing programme of aerial surveillance of its maritime zone with a plane stationed at Faleolo.