Off­shore fo­cus for new po­lice boats

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - Opinion -

THE nau­ti­cal arm of the law now reaches fur­ther and faster off­shore with the de­liv­ery of two WA-built 10m alu­minium hull pa­trol boats to Perth and Man­durah Wa­ter Po­lice ear­lier this month.

The new boats, cost­ing about $400,000 each, re­place two 8.5m rigid in­flat­able boats.

“We’ve bro­ken away from rigid in­flat­able pa­trol boats be­cause we are find­ing we are do­ing more and more work off­shore,” Se­nior Sergeant Greg Trew said.

The old boats have been given to the Trans­port Depart­ment for wa­ter­way pa­trols.

Wa­ter Po­lice pri­mar­ily un­der­take search and res­cue work, along with marine com­pli­ance and in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Its new boats, built by Hen­der­son boat­maker Shore­line Marine and ca­pa­ble of reach­ing 40 knots, can travel as far as Ger­ald­ton, carry four of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing divers, but usu­ally have a two-of­fi­cer crew.

The new boats will pa­trol in­land, in­shore and off­shore wa­ters, in ad­di­tion to car­ry­ing po­lice dur­ing mar­itime emer­gen­cies, miss­ing per­son searches and ma­jor crimes.

The boats’ sonar, which was not fit­ted to their prede- ces­sors, looks down and to the sides of the ves­sels to find ob­jects rang­ing from sunken boats, bod­ies or ob­jects 20cm or smaller dur­ing searches for ev­i­dence thrown or left in the wa­ter.

Of­fi­cers will also be able to work in bet­ter com­fort be­cause of the boats’ de­sign, in­clud­ing bows that de­liver a smoother ride in rougher con­di­tions.

“They’ve got an axe bow so it can cut into the chop bet­ter, whereas the older boats would sort of lift over and bounce through the chop,” Constable Brodie Baker said.

Constable Brodie Baker with one of the new boats at North Fre­man­tle.

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