Police Officers head to Australia for training, prior to escorting Nafanua III to Samoa


Police Officers will undergo training in Australia before they are certified to escort the Patrol Boat Nafanua III to the Country.

Police Commissioner Auapa’au Logoitino Filipo confirmed that more than 20 Officers will leave for Australia today. He said the Nafanua will be handed over to Samoa next year in February. 

The new patrol boat replaces the $30 million tala Guardian class Patrol Boat, Nafanua II, declared “beyond economical repair,” which was disposed of by the Australian government after it ran aground two years ago in Savaii in 2021.

Last year, Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Senator Penny Wong, announced its support for Samoa’s management of its precious oceans by providing a new Guardian Class Patrol Boat.

Last year, the Governments of Australia and Samoa stated due to the “unfortunate grounding” of Samoa’s Guardian class Patrol Boat, Nafanua II, in August 2021, that technical specialists from Australia were contracted to undertake the successful salvage operation, which had a minimal environmental impact. A thorough assessment of Nafanua II was launched after its arrival in Australia.

This assessment found the vessel to be beyond economical repair. In 2021, the Captain of the Nafanua, Taito Sefo Hunt, was disciplined by the Police, and his rank was reduced from Police Superintendent to Corporal after being found guilty of three counts of negligence.

At that time, Minister of Police Faualo Harry Schuster said the demotion in rank is quite significant for anyone in the police force. The statement says the ownership of Nafanua II is being transferred from the Government of Samoa to the Australian Government as we look at options for disposal.

Australia remains a committed maritime security partner for Samoa, continuing to provide support to ensure the ongoing protection of Samoa’s Exclusive Economic Zone, including through collaboration with regional partners. Australia is working closely with Samoa to address Samoa’s maritime security needs.

Australia is proud to partner with our Pacific family to enhance and coordinate continued maritime regional security.