New Zealand Navy decommissions diving support vessel HMNZS Manawanui

The Royal New Zealand Navy decommissioned its diving and mine counter-measures support ship HMNZS Manawanui in a ceremony at Devonport Naval Base on February 23.

The ship was paid off after 30 years of service and the ship’s White Ensign was lowered for the very last time.

Manawanui was commissioned into the navy in 1988. She was built in the UK in 1979 as a diving support vessel, the Star Perseus, for North Sea oil rig operations.

She is fitted with a triple lock compression chamber, a wet diving bell, a 15 tonne crane and workshop facilities including electric and gas welding equipment and a lathe. She has a four-point anchoring system to keep the ship in position when undertaking diving operations.

Manawanui is the third ship of this name to serve in the Royal New Zealand Navy. The name translates as “Big Heart”.

Manawanui, and the hydrographic ship HMNZS Resolution which was decommissioned in 2012, are being replaced by a single ship which will carry out both functions.