New vessels to stop smugglers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 July, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 July, 2002, 12:00am

Two state-of-the-art aluminium boats have been delivered to the Marine Police to help them catch smugglers.

The vessels, each weighing 105 tonnes and 30 metres long, will be based in Sai Kung and Aberdeen.

Senior Inspector Pang Wai-keung of the Sea Standards Division at Marine Headquarters, said the 'Keka' had a top speed of 27 knots, faster than other similar craft in the fleet.

'The boat is also much lighter because of its all-aluminium superstructure and hull, and therefore more fuel efficient and economical to operate,' he said.

'Navigating the craft is made much easier because it is equipped with state-of-the-art thermal imaging, a global positioning system, echo sounder, radar, electronic chart plotter and gyrocompass.'

He said one of the unique features of the vessel was its 360-degree view from the wheelhouse, which enabled the crew to observe activities or movements in all directions.

'The vessel is also equipped with a hydraulic crane for launching and retrieving its high-speed small craft used for intercepting boats suspected of smuggling goods and illegal immigrants,' said Senior Inspector Pang.

'We are still monitoring the vessels' performance, and so far we are in the process of receiving feedback from our end-users.'