Offshore focus for new police boats
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.