A huge demand for air-aid in the earthquake stricken area of Kaikoura has seen vessels from the international fleet divert from the 75th Royal New Zealand Navy celebrations to provide aid to the displaced.
Today's fleet entry was missing seven vessels, which have been sent south to provide disaster relief.
Martime Component Commander Jim Gilmore says, “We're moving the internally displaced people and tourists onto Canterbury I know it's been a big effort to try and reduce the burden on resources in Kaikoura, so getting people away that don't need to be there and generating some supply drops.”
The international naval relief effort has seen Australia, the USA and Canada join forces with NZ.
“We're hearing the demand for helicopters so we're sending everything that's a got helicopter serviceable at the moment for the next couple of days.”
It's been a big year for the Royal New Zealand Navy this year and they're celebrating with a bang.
RNZN sailor David Tapene says, “It's a very important day for us because we are celebrating our 75th anniversary of the NZ Navy.”
RNZN sailor Roy Wattie says, “It's amazing that we've now got a large number of Polynesians and Māori within the Navy so for me it's a great honour in respect of that.”
No doubt, the support from the various navies will come as welcome relief for many.