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The Vessel at the Conwy Marina before the Hand over
The shores of the Conway Marina in Wales- last February, witnessed an important interaction that would go a long way in defining the Wales to Africa Program- in the broader context of Liberia UK relations.
The sunny skylines mirrored the warmth that characterized the strategic nature of the event.
The turn-over and renaming of a fishing patrol vessel that had been in the works for a while- was consummated between high level representatives of the Welsh government and their counterparts from Liberia.
The Minister of Energy and Rural Affairs of Wales- Lesley Griffiths who spearheaded the ceremony-recounted her government was pleased to hand over the ‘Pride of Wales’- expressed optimism about the great value to Liberia’s fishing industry.
Minister Griffiths was confident such intervention will firmly drive relations between Wales and Africa- emphasizing it’s becoming more important to support projects abroad.
Minister Griffiths and Amb. Gibson Schwarz at the dedication ceremony in Wales.
The handover and subsequent transfer of the vessel to Liberia- was a product of an extensive discussion with the Wales to Africa team; The Liberia Coast Guard, the National Fisheries Authority (NAFAA) along with The World Bank and European Union.
Liberia’s Ambassador accredited to London, H.E Gurly T. Gibson Schwarz, was upbeat about the huge benefits of the timely intervention of the Welsh government.
“The handover of this vessel will be an inspiration, determination and motivation to help enhance capacity and increase ability of the Liberia National Fisheries Authority to protect the Liberian waters and its operations.”
She applauded the supervision of Mr. Jon Townley, Head of International Sustainable Development/Wales for Africa, for his resilient effort, devotion and patience in making this turnover ceremony possible.
With the details sorted -as was reflected in the high level exchanges at the Marina- the Vessel eventually made it to the shores of Liberia.
Liberia’s Head of State, H. E President George Manneh Weah, commissioned the vessel into operations giving the vessel the Liberian outlook – naming it the FPV ‘Lone Star’ in May.
As the vessel enthusiastically made its maiden voyage on February 6, 2020- The Head of the National Fisheries Authority (NFAA) Emma Metieh-Glassco declared that the event marks the dawn of a new era in safe-guarding Liberia’s fishing industry.
FPV Lone Star sailing in Liberia Waters above:as Liberia Coast Guard along with Members of the National Coast Guard.
Speaking at a brief ceremony held on board the Vessel , witnessed by Liberia’ First Lady, Madam Clar Weah, British Ambassador to Liberia, H. E David Belgrove-Madam Glasco declared that illegal fishing along Liberia’s cost will soon be a thing of the past.
Vigilant patrol with Liberia’s Coast Guard along aided with the new patrol vessel will ensure the protection of Liberia’s huge fishing endowment.
By AK JaJa
Background: FPV Aegis (Previously renamed Pride of Wales- now FPV Lone Star) Was constructed in 1996, has Twin Caterpillar 3408 700hp diesel engines, consumes 100/120 liter per hour at 17 Knots, has a 500 liter fresh water tank and 4000 liter fuel in two tanks, an anchor with 60m chain, navigation equipment including compass and GPS, satellite phone, Furuno Echo Sounder, Koden Radar, search light with remote control, navigation lights and four lifebuoys.