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Ika Moana maritime surveillance operation in the Pacific Waters

(Radio & TV Tonga, Nuku’alofa, 08/09/2016)

His Majesty’s Armed Forces learnt the best possible ways of tackling challenges they could encounter at sea during their joint annual maritime surveillance operation ” Ika Moana”.

The operation was carried out in Niue’s waters and it was initiated in 2013.

His Majesty’s Armed Forces Navy vessel Voea Late and Voea Pangai joined with the Cook Island Police patrol boat – Te Kukupa and Samoa’s Police patrol boat – Nafanua in the operation.

Speaking to Radio Tonga News the Maritime Surveillance Advisor – Lieutenant Commander David Ince says, this is the second time for His Majesty’s Armed Forces to host this program.

He adds there are improvements in this year’s operation.

The Tongan Navy going out of their only Z and the true regional cooperation starting with the Cook Island and the Samoan Maritime Police Forces. What happens we put the maritime Police Forces to the Cook Islands to the Tongan boats so we were allowed to do boarding in the Cook Islands. When we’ve done this in the past, we have the Samoan and the Cook Island boat…the sort of cooperation didn’t quite up to the stage we’ve got to this year. So this has been a real advance in this year with the Police Forces in the Cook Islands and Samoa.”

Meanwhile Lieutenant Commander David Ince elaborated the challenges they faced during the Operation of Ika Moana.

Weather is always a challenge, the weather was pretty, the little ships in the seas out but we managed to run through to Niue with no problems but after that we had some blessings on the weather and the weather calmed down and it allows the operation to go well, we also land at the Manihiki Island due to serious illness, we didn’t have medical treatment there but he was well with the locals and we got to… to refill the boat conduct of 32 boarding after that so we use”.

The maritime surveillance operation – Ika Moana started on the 8th of August and continued until the 31st.

© Radio & TV Tonga News 2016