Patrol boat Gizo has defects, says Veke

RSIPF Patrol boat Gizo. Photo by Austal.
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DEFECTS have been identified on Guardian patrol boat, RSIPV Gizo 05 during its refitting in Australia.

Minister for Police, National Security and Correctional Services, Anthony Veke confirmed this when asked by Leader of Opposition, Mathew Wale in Parliament on Wednesday.

Veke said at the moment they haven’t still receive a specific report on the defects.

“But coming back to Guardian Patrol boat, we still have Taro operational and Gizo was sent back for refitting and this is a normal exercise under the programme,” the police minister said.

“It is when Gizo in Australia that they identified some defects,” he added.

Veke said the defects that has been emerging shows to Guardian class patrol boat for the last 18 months.

He said this include cracks between engine and gear box, ventilation on seat base and crack on engine exhaust silencer.

Furthermore, Veke said in terms of reporting, the Australia government take this matter very seriously and committing to address this problem as soon as possible.

He said they are developing a report which will presenting to Solomon Islands Government through his ministry to inform government of Solomon Islands in relating to Gizo and Taro on specific defects.

“Actually, the Australia Government report to us not until our officers travel with Gizo patrol, when they identified the defects, they sent our officers home.

“They gave us initial reports on three areas identified for the last 18 months,” he said.

“My ministry is working with Australia to make sure we have this report.

“The manufacturer, which Austal, is sending team around Pacific including Solomon Islands for initial assessment of the boats within Pacific.

“Maybe when do assessment, we will have clear definite report on the defects of the Guardian Class Patrol boat,” he said.

Government has received the first RSIPV Gizo 05 in 2019.

It took the second Guardian-class patrol boat, RSIPV Taro 06 in June last year.

This was made possible under an existing Defence Cooperation Arrangement, which saw continuous support by Australia to Solomon Islands for more than 30 years.

The purchase of the donation is to tackle illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing on the Exclusive Economic Zones in the country.