One of four new rapid response boats donated by Bahrain to the Seychelles Coast Guard (Rita Joubert-Lawen, Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) – The Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG) received four fast response boats as a donation from the government of Bahrain during a handover ceremony at the SCG base on the main island of Mahe on Saturday morning.
Seychelles is “significantly enhancing its ability to respond swiftly and effectively to various maritime incidents, ensuring the safety and security of our waters”, said Brigadier Michael Rosette of the Seychelles Defence Forces (SDF) at the event, in the presence of President Wavel Ramkalawan, Commander-in-Chief of the SDF.
The four new additions to the SCG fleet are Ocean boat 41s measuring 12.5 metres, built and developed in the United Arab Emirates.
Each of the vessels are powered with triple Mercury 350 Pro outboard engines, providing a maximum of 1200 hp, reaching up to speeds of 55 knots.
As its fuel tank can hold up to 1,000L, this allows each of the boats to cruise up to estimated distances of 100 Nm back and forth.
The ocean boat also consists of a robust cockpit, incorporating a marine radio, latest Garmin GPS and radar system.
|The fast reponse boats are mainly aimed at coastal patrols within the Inner Islands of the archipelago (Rita Joubert-Lawen, Seychelles News Agency) Photo license: CC-BY|
“The state-of-the-art boats possess remarkable manoeuvrability, speed and versatility, making them indispensable assets in a range of operations,” explained Rosette.
“Including harbour and coastal patrols, search and rescue missions, monitoring and surveillance activities and rapid response to marine accidents,” he elaborated.
The gift follows former President Danny Faure’s visit to Bahrain in 2020, where the country pledged to further support Seychelles in its maritime security efforts through the donation of two boats for the SCG.
However, as the Ambassador of Bahrain to Seychelles, Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa explained, “due to a delay caused by the onset of Covid-19, Seychelles received four instead of two”.
Meanwhile, Rosette said that as two nations deeply connected to the sea, “we understand the criticality of continuously enhancing our readiness and capacity to safeguard our maritime security”.
He added that despite the geographical distance between the two countries, “the ocean binds us together and any threat within our region may have any threat within our region may have reverberating effects on our maritime neighbours”.
Furthermore, the shallow draft capability will enable access to even the most challenging coastal areas, according to Rossette, which will reinforce the SCG’s ability to enforce maritime laws and protect the country’s marine resources.
Ship Station Commander Ivel Ernesta also echoed Rosette’s sentiment in a press interview, saying that the boats will mainly help in “patrols on the coasts and the Inner Islands and fast deployment in search and rescues and any other accidents that may happen at sea”.
The Seychelles Coast Guard’s rapid response fleet consists of 14 boats – including the four new additions.
“The bigger the fleet gets, the more we need manpower to operate, which is why we are working on recruitment at the moment,” he concluded.
Ambassador Sheikh Khalid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa also paid a courtesy visit to President Ramkalawan at State House following the handover of the boats.
Seychelles and Bahrain established diplomatic relations on May 4, 1983.