Coastguard upgrades fleet with three new vessels
The Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard (RSVGCG) is set for a substantial upgrade to its fleet with the addition of two Rigid Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs) and a Damen offshore patrol vessel.
The three new vessels will join a 33-foot defender class refurbished vessel which was recently donated to the Coast Guard by the United States (US) through the Caribbean Basin Initiative.
Speaking recently, Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves said each of the RHIBs has two outboard engines with a maximum speed of 40 knots and can hold 12 persons with a maximum capacity of 2800 kilos plus fuel and equipment.
He said when the boats arrive, one will patrol the Leeward coast and the other, the Grenadines. The RHIBs were donated by the Japanese government.
The Damen vessel, valued at US$6.5 million is 42.8 metres long and is coming from the Damen group, a Dutch company. It has a top speed of 26.5 knots and the capability to hold 18 sailors.
Gonsalves stressed that no OECS country has a vessel of this type. He said that this vessel is expected in the country by Independence, October 27.
“It should be here to address the question of intercepting people who [are] bringing guns and strengthening intelligence in a particular way,” said Dr. Gonsalves.
The Prime Minister said these vessels are part of the crime fighting initiative of the government.
Meanwhile, CariSECURE has agreed to review, update and computerize data collected by the police. This data will be stored at the Questelles Police Station and at police headquarters and the Prime Minister noted that the government has already started to procure equipment for that.
The CariSECURE (Strengthening Evidence Based Decision Making for Citizen Security in the Caribbean) project is a component of USAID’s Youth Empowerment Services (YES) project and is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the technical assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The goal of the CariSECURE project is to improve youth crime and violence policy-making and programming in the Southern and Eastern Caribbean through the use of quality, comparable and reliable national citizen security information.