A pre-planned trip to Australia by Marshall Islands Sea Patrol vessel Lomor 03 was unexpectedly delayed Monday, when the vessel was forced to turn back when it was near Australia for lack of official clearance.
The patrol vessel left Majuro June 4 for a scheduled six-month session in Australian dry dock.
Lomor was halfway between Solomon Islands and Australia when Majuro-based Maritime Surveillance Advisor (MSA) Commander George McKenzie called into Australian customs to check up on the vessel and crew.
It was during this call that Australian customs told McKenzie that Lomor 03 was missing proper clearance documents needed to enter Australia.
Mckenzie then advised Lomor 03 to head back to Honiara while MSA and RMI’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs resolved the issue. The vessel turned around Monday and returned to Honiara.
“Somewhere down the line the papers did not get processed properly,” McKenzie told the Journal Wednesday. “But, it’s been resolved now and the boat is expected to arrive in Australia Monday.”
McKenzie said the vessel will remain in Australia for six months while the 16-man crew will fly back to Majuro on June 24. He also said the crew would fly to Australia in November to work on the boat before sailing Lomor back to Majuro in December.
Read more about this in the June 17, 2016 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.