Some 42 countries to participate in sail Bunaken

Date June 1, 2009

Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) – Some 42 countries have confirmed their participation in Sail Bunaken 2009, which will be organized in Manado and Bitung, North Sulawesi, August 15-18, 2009.

“Forty-two countries have confirmed their participation. They will send their naval chiefs of staff and some deputy chiefs of staff,” First Admiral Willem Rampangilei, commander of the Indonesian Navy`s Main Base VIII, said in a meeting on preparations for the Sail Bunaken 2009 here on Tuesday.

Sail Bunaken was aimed at building a sense of seamen`s brotherhood and enhancing international relations, he said.

“The event is to give a chance to the world to see the marine beauty of North Sulawesi, to develop the mariners` spirit, and to make North Sulawesi a gateway to East Asia,” he said.

Activities of “Sail Bunaken” will include “Indonesian Fleet Review 2009” consisting of a sailing pass parade to be participated in by warships, traditional ships, state ships, tall ships, yachts, and open ships.

A yacht rally will also be organized by the marine affairs and fisheries ministry on the occasion.

“Up to May 26, 150 yachts have been registered for the Yacht Rally which will start from Darwin, Australia, to Bitung and Manado,” he said.

The warship parade will be participated in by among other things USS George Washington with around 5,000 crew members on board, and the US warship will be guarded by three frigates with respectively having 500 crew members on board.
The warships will arrive in Bitung starting August 12, 2009, he said.

The Sail Bunaken Festival will bring together around 7,000 to 8,000 sailors from all over the world.

“Ship crew members from all over the world will sail to Manado to visit the Bunaken marine park. Sail Bunaken will be greater than the Bunaken Festival which was held earlier,” North Sulawesi Governor Sinyo Sarundajang said earlier.

The sideline activities will include an international seminar on “Building a Comprehensive Maritime Security” to be organized by the Indonesian Navy, and another seminar on “Possible Benefit of the Effort to Minimize Illegal Fishing in the Region” to be organized by the Indonesian marine and fishery affairs ministry.

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