The Australian Border Force (ABF) has today launched a new Port, Harbour and Coastal (PHC) vessel to strengthen its maritime capabilities across Victoria.
Based in Melbourne, the 12.4 metre Phillip Island is one of a suite of vessels launched across the country to provide the ABF with a greater range and maritime operational capability.
Acting ABF Regional Commander for Victoria and Tasmania, Greg Dowse, said the Phillip Island will help ABF officers maintain a strong and continuous presence along the Victorian coast.
“Victorians should expect to see an increased ABF presence in and around Port Phillip Bay as well as along more remote areas of the Victorian coastline,” said Acting Regional Commander Dowse.
“This vessel will support the ABF maritime unit to deploy and respond rapidly to combat border and customs related crimes when they are identified.”
The ABF maritime unit engages in patrols to monitor and combat border threats such as illicit drug, firearm importation and wildlife smuggling.
The vessel is one of 13 new PHC vessels deployed across Australia.
Eight of the vessels, including Phillip Island, have been constructed in Yamba in northern NSW with the other five built in Adelaide.