US Coast Guard Ship Reportedly Denied Port Call in Solomon Islands

The Sentinel-class fast response cutter Oliver Henry is pictured here arriving in Port Moresby for a port visit on Aug. 23, 2022, following a patrol in parts of the Coral Sea, and the Solomon Islands and PNG Exclusive Economic Zones.. (Lt. Col. Karl Wethe/Coast Guard)
The Sentinel-class fast response cutter Oliver Henry is pictured here arriving in Port Moresby for a port visit on Aug. 23, 2022, following a patrol in parts of the Coral Sea, and the Solomon Islands and PNG Exclusive Economic Zones.. (Lt. Col. Karl Wethe/Coast Guard)

BANGKOK (AP) — A U.S. Coast Guard cutter conducting patrols as part of an international mission to prevent illegal fishing was recently unable to get clearance for a scheduled port call in the Solomon Islands, according to reports, an incident that comes amid growing concerns of Chinese influence on the Pacific nation.

The cutter Oliver Henry was taking part in Operation Island Chief monitoring fishing activities in the Pacific, which came to a close on Friday, when it sought to make a scheduled stop on Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands, to refuel and re-provision, Coast Guard Lt. Kristin Kam told the Stars and Stripes newspaper.

There was no response from the Solomon Islands’ government for diplomatic clearance for the vessel to land, however, so the Oliver Henry diverted to Papua New Guinea, Kam said.

She declined to specify when the incident occurred, and the Coast Guard did not immediately respond to emails or calls from The Associated Press for comment.

In a statement, however, the Coast Guard said the Oliver Henry had arrived in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, on Tuesday “following a patrol in parts of the Coral Sea and the Solomon Islands.”

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Source: Military Times