Samoa’s seas will be better protected thanks to a donation from the Australian High Commission.
The Maritime Police Wing yesterday received a donation of resources worth more than A$60,000 (T$113,535) as part of the Defence Cooperation Program.
Commanding Officer of the Police Maritime Wing, Superintendent Sefo Faafoi Hunt, accepted the gifts from Australian High Commissioner Sara Moriarty in a short ceremony at the wharf.
Ms. Moriarty said the goods will allow the Police Maritime Wing staff to look after their existing patrol boat to a high standard and ensure their ongoing safety when using chemicals and other hazardous substances.
The donation included a chemical storage locker, shipping container, two large toolboxes, multiple personal protective equipment, two tonnes of paint for the vessel, fire retardant rope and more.
Also included in the donation is the construction of a second floor on the Maritime Wing, which will be used for more office, storage space and for new male and female changing rooms.
The change rooms are a necessary addition because in August 2019, the wing will receive an Australian government-funded Guardian Class Patrol Boat, which will be used by both male and female police.
The vessel currently being used will be retired next year, but in the interim period will undergo underwater coating and other minor safety sections that require routine attention.
The Guardian Class Patrol Boat is part of the Australian government-funded Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement project, which will strive to enhance the capacity of 13 Pacific nations to secure their maritime boundaries as well as respond to transnational crime and search and rescue operations. Countries that will benefit under the program include Samoa, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Federated States of Micronesia, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Timor Leste.