THE ‘fastest boat in the bay’ has started patrolling off Gibraltar.
It was unveiled on March 2 at Customs House and Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has authorised the vessel to commence operations.
The HMC Sentinel is an interceptor patrol boat, custom built by Damen – one of the world’s leading shipbuilders.
The vessel is a custom-built prototype, the first of its kind, and is the result of a three-year project.
With a length of 14.5 metres, the HMC Sentinel can accommodate five crew and 10-12 passengers.
It has a top speed of 62.5 knots and is powered by four Mercury Verado 400 R outboard engines.
“It is the fastest in the bay and the largest and most capable vessel ever to enter service for the Customs Service”, said Picardo.
It will be used for patrols and maritime surveillance in Gibraltar waters, rapid response interventions and support and assistance to other security forces in their operations and is considered key in combatting traffickers.
The hull and superstructure of the vessel are composed of fibreglass and carbon-reinforced epoxy, while the interior accommodation features cushioned seating, a stretcher, a toilet and galley.
The HMC Sentinel is equipped with the latest technology in nautical and communication equipment, including fixed and portable beacons, radar and GPS.
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