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Navy struggles to get enough sailors to keep ships at sea
5:40PM Friday February 23, 2007

HMNZS Te Mana has 163 crew but the Navy is struggling to get sailors. Photo / John Borren

The navy's top brass has warned the service is struggling to find enough sailors to keep its ships at sea.

Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Ledson, said some branches of the navy were already "in a very delicate position with only a few people being the difference between a ship having to stay alongside in Devonport or being able to go to sea and do its job.

"This situation is placing the navy and sailors under real strain," he said in the latest issue of the navy magazine Navy Today.

Admiral Ledson said the navy faced two big challenges this year.

The first was to keep its existing fleet of eight ships at sea.

More here .