AVATIU Harbour was the setting for World Maritime Day celebrations in the Cook Islands, South Pacific.
The celebrations incorporated the International Maritime Organization theme for this year of ‘Connecting Ships, Ports and People’.
The theme highlights the connectivity between the three principal components in the maritime economy.
The Cook Islands World Maritime Day started with a welcome address by the Cook Islands Prime Minister, Henry Puna with an estimated 600 students from schools around the city of Rarotonga taking part.
A total of eight stations were set up with the aim of boosting the youngsters’ understanding of the industry.
- Xcil Shipping told students about containers and how they are transported in and out of the country;
- Cook Islands Towage organised a tour on board a ro ro barge;
- Cook Islands Police ran a tour on board police patrol vessel, Te Kukupa;
- Local telecommunications company, Bluesky, taught students about VHF Radios and radio frequencies;
- Ministry of Transport and Cook Islands Tourism Corporation teamed up to demonstrate rope tying.
- Ministry of Marine Resources introduced students to fish aggregating devices and displayed fish species charts.
- Marae Moana, the Cook Islands Marine Park, shared the importance of preserving the marine environment and had a crown of thorns starfish on display.
- The Cook Islands Water Safety & Surf Lifesaving Council in collaboration with Sailing Cook Islands focused on water safety through a search and rescue demonstration in the Avatiu Harbour.
The Cook Islands Ministry of Education ran an iPad challenge where students took photos around the harbour based upon 10 different clues.
Maritime Cook Islands chief executive, Glenn Armstrong said this celebration was an extension of last year’s event with a view to cultivating the understanding of the maritime industry among young people.
“It was wonderful to see so many people from the maritime industry participating in this year’s World Maritime Day making it such a success,” Mr Armstrong said.