Fiji’s future Guardian-class patrol boat to honour fallen sailor

The Republic of Fiji Navy has confirmed that its newest Guardian-class patrol boat will be named RFNS Savenaca.

The vessel honours Seaman Savenaca Naulutuma, a Fiji-born Royal New Zealand Navy sailor who was killed in action while serving aboard the cruiser HMNZS Leander at the Battle of Kolombangara in the Solomon Islands in World War II. Naulutuma and 25 other crewmembers on Leander were killed shortly after their ship was struck by a Japanese torpedo in the early morning hours of July 13, 1943.

The future RFNS Savenaca is the first Fijian naval vessel to be named after a former sailor. It is currently under construction at Austal’s Henderson shipyard in Perth.

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