Ship's captain finds his place of berth

Born here but never been back

BLANTON SMITH
Last updated 05:00 31/07/2014

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Finding the place of berth took another form for a navy ship's captain yesterday when he returned to Taranaki for the first time since his own birth.

"I was born here, but I've never been back," said Anthony Norris, 28, captain of the inshore patrol boat Rotoiti. His parents moved from Inglewood to Whanganui six months after he was born, then to Napier where he lived until joining the navy in 2005 at the age of 19.

"I'm really glad I did. I like being on the water whether it's here or overseas on the bigger ships," he said.

"I took a year off after high school because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I saw a lot of people leaving university with a debt and struggling to find jobs."

Norris said New Plymouth was one of a handful of cities the Rotoiti would visit on its five-week trip around the country.

Able marine technician Elliot Jenkins, 20, is the Rotoiti's only other crew member with Taranaki connections.

He moved to New Plymouth for his high school years and joined the navy after a stint at the meatworks.

"I wanted a change. Here it's always changing," he said

Jenkins, who joined in 2012, said his role was "to make sure the ship goes to sea, stays at sea and doesn't end up under the sea".

Visiting remote locations around the country was a highlight, while the hardest thing was being away from family, he said. "And not being able to surf."

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- Taranaki Daily News

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