GRIFFITHS, Simon Campbell
E993512, Lieutenant Commander, Royal New Zealand Navy

CITATION
New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
Lieutenant Commander Simon Griffiths is the Commanding Officer of the Navy’s Offshore Patrol Vessel HMNZS Wellington. He led the ship through the introduction into service trials and unit readiness evaluation. The successful conclusion was the ship’s operational deployment in February 2011 to the Southern Ocean and Antarctica. This was the first Navy visit to the area in 40 years and while there is much historical information on operations in the area, there was neither practical experience operating a vessel like the HMNZS Wellington nor current knowledge of ice navigation.

While the ship was departing the Ross Sea, a distress signal was received from a recreational adventure vessel. With limited communications back to New Zealand due to bad weather conditions, he instituted a considered and measured approach to the call. The ship spent 12 hours conducting an extensive, but what provided to be unsuccessful, search for the yacht or her life boat and crew.

AWARDS
New Zealand Distinguished Service Decoration
New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Regular

NOTES
Born
Died
THE PRO PATRIA PROJECT