HMNZS Manawanui Provides Tropical Cyclone Assistance To Fiji
Royal New Zealand Navy ship HMNZS Manawanui has resumed its planned programme in the South-West Pacific, after delivering food and other relief supplies across Fiji following Tropical Cyclone Mal.
The specialist dive and hydrographic vessel was near Fiji conducting a hydrographic survey as part of a planned seven-week deployment to the region, when the request for assistance came in from the Fiji National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).
In Suva, the ship took on six personnel from NDMO and supporting organisations, along with two 20-foot containers holding approximately 700 bags of food.
It then visited Vatulele, Malolo, Mamanuca, Viwa, Waya and the Yasawa Islands off Viti Levu, giving NDMO personnel the opportunity to conduct initial damage assessments and deliver supplies.
HMNZS Manawanui’s Commanding Officer, Commander Yvonne Gray, said the ship’s crew were pleased to support the NDMO and the people of Fiji.
“One of the many tasks for the New Zealand Defence Force is to respond to requests for assistance after adverse weather events. We remain flexible and available to work with our Pacific neighbours when needed,” she said.
“Our crew were able to pivot from their programmed tasking and assist the NDMO to carry out their vital work.
“With the help of HMNZS Manawanui, the NDMO team visited 35 villages in just four days. This was a significant achievement for the NDMO and the ship’s company, some of whom accompanied the teams ashore.
“Despite the circumstances, personnel from Manawanui teams were welcomed with open arms and really enjoyed engaging with the locals.”
The ship will now continue its planned programme of hydrographic surveys, and maritime security patrols before sailing to Vanuatu at the end of November.