Palau’s new Guardian -class Patrol boat, PSS President Remeliik II arrived on Wednesday but the crew members are not allowed to disembark until Nov. 16, when the required COVID-19 14-day quarantine has been completed.
The new patrol boat travelled from Australia, after it was officially handed over to the Palau government on Sept. 18,.
The PSS President H.I Remeliik II is replacing its namesake predecessor, a Pacific-class Patrol Boat that has been in service in Palau since 1996.
The vessel was received by Palauan Commanding Officer Lieutenant Commander Emerson Nobuo at Australia’s shipyard in Henderson, Western Australia.
According to the Ministry of Health quarantine and testing protocols, all crew members and travelers aboard the vessel to Palau, must undergo a self-quarantine restriction of period movement for 10 days following departure from Australia.
The crew members tested negative for COVID-19 prior to departure to Palau. The crew members will stay on the boat which is anchored near the Marine Law dock.
According to the MOH, the travelers are not allowed to mingle with the community until Nov. 16.
The boat however is scheduled to dock at the Marine law on Nov. 2, the time the travelers have completed their pre-arrival quarantine.
Victor Remengesau, Director of the Bureau of Marine Law Enforcement and Fish and Wildlife confirmed that the travelers will have to follow the COVID-19 protocols set by the government and will have to wait until Nov. 16 to be with their families.
Remengesau said the crew members “tested negative for COVID-19 three times already” before arriving in Palau.
The crew members will be tested two more times during the quarantine period here.
The 21 travelers are composed of 19 Palauan law enforcers who left Palau in September to undergo training in Australia. Two of the travelers are members of the Australian navy.
PSS President H.I. Remeliik II is the seventh Guardian-class Patrol Boat (GCPB) being delivered by Austal under the Pacific Patrol Boat Replacement (SEA3036) Project as part of the Australian
Twelve Pacific Island nations including Papua New Guinea, Fiji, the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Tonga, Solomon Islands, Cook Islands, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Palau, Samoa, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu; and Timor Leste will receive the vessels through to 2023.
The 39.5-meter steel monohull GCPB patrol boat designed, constructed and sustained by Austal Australia. ( B. Carreon)