Launceston cleans up on Christmas Island

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Des Paroz (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Christmas Island

Topic(s): HMAS Launceston (P94)

Crew members from the Australian Navy patrol boat HMAS Launceston joined together with students from the Christmas Island District High School to conduct a beach clean up during a recent visit to the remote Australian territory. (photo: Unknown)
Crew members from the Australian Navy patrol boat HMAS Launceston joined together with students from the Christmas Island District High School to conduct a beach clean up during a recent visit to the remote Australian territory.

Crew members from the Australian Navy patrol boat, HMAS Launceston, joined together with students from the Christmas Island District High School to conduct a beach clean up during a recent visit to the remote Australian territory. 

During brief break during a patrol of Australia’s Indian Ocean waters, Launceston’s crew were eager to lend a hand to the local community to clean up a significant load of rubbish that had accumulated on Christmas Island’s spectacular Greta Beach. 

Sarah Bolland, a teacher at the High School, was appreciative of the efforts put in by the Navy and Army personnel embarked in Launceston, as they assisted a group of year 10 students. 

"Our school regularly sends a team of students to the various beaches to clean up rubbish, and Greta Beach has recently had a particularly large amount of rubbish building up," she said.

“The beach is difficult to access, preventing sea turtles from coming ashore to lay their eggs, so the beach clean up will have a direct and positive environmental impact.

“Our year 10 students appreciate the opportunity to build friendships and work with the Navy.” 

Launceston’s
 Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Jonathon Lyons said the crew's enthusiasm and extra sets of hands were perfect for the clean-up job.  

"It was a very rewarding task for members of HMAS Launceston’s ships company," he said.

“The opportunity to build positive ties with the local community of Christmas Island coupled with making a positive environmental impact was very beneficial,” Lieutenant Commander Lyons said.

“Protection of our maritime environment is vital for those of us in the Australian Defence Force who work in it daily, and we enjoyed the opportunity to work with the students to make a visible difference in one of Australia’s remote local communities.” 

Launceston
 is one the Australian Navy’s 13 Armidale class patrol boats that regularly works with Maritime Border Command to conduct operations to protect Australia from civil maritime security threats including illegal exploitation of natural resources, illegal activity in protected areas, prohibited imports and exports, piracy and robbery at sea, and illegal maritime arrivals.