Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Navy dives in to Tongan response

Royal New Zealand Navy’s HMNZS Aotearoa has berthed today at Tonga’s Nuku’alofa port following successful wharf and harbour inspections conducted by Navy divers and hydrographers on board HMNZS Wellington.

Hydrographers were immediately deployed to survey approaches to Nuku’alofa after HMNZS Wellington’s arrival, with Navy divers also conducting checks on the integrity of the wharf infrastructure, NZDF said in a statement today.

“Once Aotearoa arrived, Humanitarian Aid and Disaster Relief (HADR) stores, including bulk water supplies, were being offloaded as a priority and will undergo appropriate COVID-19 sanitation by Tongan authorities.”

“Aotearoa also has the ability for the continuous provision of water which it will do while alongside,” it said.

Meanwhile, HMNZS Canterbury is set to depart Devonport Naval Base overnight on Friday and will arrive in Tonga early next week.

HMNZS Wellington dispatches Hydrographic Survey and Dive Teams in Tonga.

Supplies on board Canterbury include water, tarpaulins and milk powder, while there are also vehicles and several containers of construction equipment on board in case requested by Tongan authorities to assist with the recovery efforts following Saturday’s undersea eruption and tsunami.

A further C130 Hercules flight is also set to depart Base Auckland on Saturday with more HADR stores on board.

“NZDF continues to co-ordinate with international partners on the response to Tonga,” it said.

A 6 Sqn Seasprite helicopter training flight during HMNZS Wellington’s transit to Tonga.

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