15 Sep 2017

Maritime safety boost for Niue

7:19 am on 15 September 2017

The New Zealand Coastguard says a new search and rescue vessel destined for Niue will be a huge game changer for maritime safety.

Coastguard Marlborough president Dick Chapman and the rescue vessel about to be replaced with a newer, faster, purpose-built model.

Photo: RNZ / Tracy Neal

Patrick Holmes said three Niuean crew had nearly completed their training with the new boat in Christchurch and were very excited to put the vessel into use once it reaches Niue in November.

He says having a dedicated, modern, well equipped rescue vessel and highly trained crew will make a big difference to responsiveness.

"Because of the size of the vessel, she will actually fit on a trailer which can be towed to different locations if the sea conditions were difficult in one particular area she can be towed to another area to be launched. So she's a very versitile boat and I'm sure that she's going to be transformational in terms of safety in and around Niue."

Mr Holmes said Coastguard New Zealand was looking forward to training crew from other Pacific Islands as maritime safety plans expand in the future.