8 Dec 2010

More problems for Navy ship Otago

9:24 pm on 8 December 2010

One of the New Zealand Navy's newest ships has another serious fault forcing it to again return to port.

The offshore patrol vessel HMNZS Otago has encountered an electrical problem in one engine on its way to the remote Campbell Island in the sub-Antarctic.

Engineers have made temporary repairs, but the ship has to return to the Devonport naval base in Auckland for a permanent fix.

The Otago and sister ship HMNZS Wellington were taking Department of Conservation staff to the Campbell and Auckland islands.

New Zealand's Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand and his wife Lady Susan were also on the Otago but were transferred to the other ship.

In October, the ship was forced to turn back 12 hours into its first international deployment after 150 litres of seawater contaminated tanks holding nearly 30,000 litres of fuel.

It was to spend three weeks in the South Pacific carrying out diplomacy and surveillance tasks.

The Otago has encountered other problems - an engine malfunction before it was delivered from Australia and a gearbox failure on its maiden voyage from Dunedin.