The NSW Police Force Marine Area Command has officially commissioned seven new vessels which will replace their current fleet of Class 2 patrol boats.
NSW Police Force Commissioner, Mick Fuller APM, and Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott MP, unveiled the seven new purpose-built vessels at Balmain today (Monday 23 December 2019), as part of an ongoing commitment to provide safer waterways across NSW.
Each of the Class 2 boats is equipped with a five-metre aluminium boarding vessel constructed into the stern which allows for medical evacuations at sea and the boarding of suspicious vessels entering Australia’s maritime corridors into NSW coastal waters.
Minister Elliott said the NSW Government is committed to ensuring police have the best resources required to serve and protect the people of NSW, whether on land or water.
“These vessels allow for multi-purpose responses, including high-visibility policing, search and rescue, medical evacuations and recovery, port and maritime security and general community policing,” Minister Elliott.
“They will allow Marine Area Command to better enforce and educate in areas such as vessel safety, speed, alcohol awareness and fisheries offences while out on the water.
“Marine-related crime is very serious and can be dangerous. We will continue to support police in their fight against offences committed on our waterways,” Minister Elliott said.
Between June 2018 and 2019, the Marine Area Command responded to 1,296 search and rescue incidents and spent 17,790 hours undertaking enforcement and operational activities on NSW waterways.
Commissioner Fuller said the new fleet are larger and purpose-built to the requirements of the NSW Police Force.
“Officers attached to our Marine Area Command contributed to the design, including the high-visibility markings, to improve manoeuvrability and response times,” Commissioner Fuller said.
“The new vessels are a greatly improved version of our retiring fleet. They are safer for the open water and can travel 900 nautical miles out to sea for up to five days.
“The multi-purpose functionality of these vessels also allows police to effectively and efficiently undertake proactive patrolling of high-density recreational and commercial boating areas.
“During busy periods on Sydney Harbour these vessels will enable us to provide a safer and more secure environment for those who choose to enjoy on-water activities.
“So, if you’re out on the water this Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year or over summer, you are guaranteed to see police on board these vessels conducting high-visibility patrols and compliance checks right across the state,” Commissioner Fuller said.
Each of the seven new vessels feature the latest technology, including a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) camera to assist police crews search for lost mariners or detect crime threats. The navigation and electronics are supported by the NSW Police Force integrated telecommunication and satellite systems.
The new vessels are 18.5 metres in length, weigh approximately 34 tonne and have a fuel capacity of 7,884 litres. The marine diesel engines have a top speed of 27 knots (or 50 km/h).
The Marine Area Command officially took possession of the new fleet on Monday 4 November 2019.
The vessels will be rotated according to operationally requirements, and located in Sydney (Balmain), Broken Bay, Botany Bay, Eden, Port Kembla, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Tweed Heads and Coffs Harbour.