Brief visit from the Navy

By Roger Moroney

The weather was grey but the maritime landscape off Hardinge Rd in Ahuriri yesterday was even greyer as one of the Royal New Zealand Navy's inshore patrol vessels paid a visit.

The HMNZS Taupo, skippered by Commanding Officer Damian Gibbs, took time out in the calmer waters of Hawke Bay just after mid-day before returning to the open seas.

It stood to within a kilometre of the shoreline, causing passing motorists to stop and take a second look.

The vessel has been on a fisheries patrol down the eastern coastline this week and is due to arrive in Wellington on Saturday.

It did not enter or tie up at Napier Port.

The 340-tonne vessels, which carry a crew of 20 and up to 12 additional personnel, work in with several agencies - New Zealand Customs Service, the Department of Conservation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry of Fisheries, Maritime New Zealand, and New Zealand Police.



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