Wellingtonâ€™s police launch Lady Elizabeth III is getting a fresh repaint -- the first since she started service nearly 14 years ago.
Inspector Marty Grenfell, Wellington Area Controller, says the â€˜Lizâ€™ will head to dry dock in Nelson on Wednesday for the paint job and four-yearly survey where shafts, rudder stocks and skin fittings will be removed for inspection. The work is expected to take an estimated five weeks during which time Wellington Coastguard will provide a marine search and rescue capability.
"The Liz does sterling service in all sorts of conditions," Mr Grenfell says. "Her original paintwork has stood up well but like all vessels, itâ€™s time for a repaint.
The Lady Elizabeth III was built in Nelson and launched in November 1989. After sea trials she started work in Wellington on 23 December 1989.
While the Liz is in dry dock her skippers and crew will have some well earned leave or be redeployed on other policing services.
Mr Grenfell says police looked at a range of options for temporary cover for the Liz and are satisfied that Coastguard can provide a service.
"They have two dedicated vessels for harbour and sea rescues and Iâ€™m happy that with the coordination of police staff, Coastguard will provide a suitable response. Itâ€™s an opportunity for police and Coastguard to work more closely together."
Police will be on board the Coastguard vessels for marine search and rescue callouts.
"There will be certain limitations on what Coastguard can do, especially towing in heavy seas. But these operating factors are also considered by the Liz when sheâ€™s called out.
"The police launch is highly regarded by the Wellington boating community. Weâ€™re sprucing her up now so that sheâ€™ll soon be back in the capital in top condition and ready for the summer season."