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Solar ship’s arrival to Tonga delayed

Press Release – Government of Tonga

The anticipated arrival in Tonga of the record-breaking solar boat MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar will be delayed, as mechanical issues has forced a return to Bora Bora. Solar ship’s arrival to Tonga delayed

The anticipated arrival in Tonga of the record-breaking solar boat MS TÛRANOR PlanetSolar will be delayed, as mechanical issues has forced a return to Bora Bora.

The yacht was scheduled to reach Tonga on April 10th, but this has been deferred until full repairs are completed.

“The good news is, the crew and the boat are safe; the technical problem can be solved; and the boat will come to Tonga,” TÛRANOR coordinators told Tongan counterparts.

According to an official statement from the crew, the MS TÛRANOR left Bora Bora early Wednesday morning 30 March and was on its way to Tonga when an “unusual noise” was heard from the port side drive area.

Problems with the steering system of the propeller blades had to be resolved and the boat is now undergoing expert analysis in Bora Bora.

The crew remain enthusiastic for their visit to Tonga at a later unconfirmed date.

“The project PlanetSolar is an expedition and accordingly we must be prepared for such incidents,” said project founder and co-skipper Raphaël Domjan.

The ship is the largest in the world to be powered exclusively by solar energy and is pioneering the first expedition of its kind around the globe. The mission is to demonstrate that existing renewable energy technologies are reliable and effective.

The TÛRANOR departed Monaco last September with a travel route crossing the Atlantic Ocean, Panama Canal, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal before finally returning to the Mediterranean.

ENDS

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