Contract awarded for new offshore police patrol vessel

Tasmania Police has awarded a $13.4 million contract for a new fit-for-purpose offshore police patrol vessel.

Assistant Commissioner Specialist Support Adrian Bodnar said that the contract for the 23.9 metre vessel has been awarded to Australian aluminium boat builder, Fine Entry Marine of Western Australia. The new vessel is expected to arrive in Tasmania in early 2024.

Fine Entry Marine previously successfully delivered the PV Cape Wickham, which has been patrolling Tasmania’s waters since 2017.

“The design and build process for a police patrol vessel of this nature is complex and it needs to be fitted out with the latest sophisticated technologies to enable our marine police to be able to effectively and safely operate in adverse weather conditions, and at night,” Assistant Commissioner Bodnar said.

“It’s important to Tasmania Police, that a vessel that meets the specifications, is fit-for-purpose and represents value for money has been selected.”

The new vessel will incorporate strategic innovation and design, with world class state-of-the-art search and rescue technology including a long range, digital Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera, sonar and seafloor search and 3D mapping capability.

Enhanced occupational health and safety features were a critical consideration for selecting this vessel and include a commercial gyroscopic stabiliser, a first for policing vessels within Australia, which reduces fatigue and increases crew comfort and safety by providing a more stable platform.

The aluminium constructed, twin keeled vessel is powered by twin 2000hp diesel engines and incorporates stern and bow thrusters to increase manoeuvrability and station holding capabilities.

The vessel will operate around all of Tasmania’s coastline out to 200 nautical miles, with a range of 1000 nautical miles.

A high-speed rigid hull inflatable can be quickly launched and retrieved from the vessel which allows even greater access to the coastline.

The vessel’s operational functions will include search and rescue response, marine safety enforcement, patrolling of State and Commonwealth Marine Reserves and State security operations.

The Department of Police, Fire and Emergency Management commenced the project to replace the PV Van Diemen in 2019, which was built by Geraldton Boat Builders in Western Australia, and has been in service for over 27 years.

“A rigorous procurement process was undertaken involving a comprehensive evaluation of tender submissions, site inspections and vessel trials since March 2021 overseen by an independent probity advisor,” Assistant Commissioner Bodnar said.

This is the final stage of Tasmania Police’s Large Vessel Replacement Program funded by the State Government.

The program has also recently seen the delivery of a new 11.95 metre, jet powered fast response vessel, PV Dauntless, which was launched in 2021.

“Tasmania Police’s first-class marine and rescue service will be even better equipped for marine rescues, fisheries enforcement and protection of State marine resources with this new police vessel,” said Assistant Commissioner Bodnar.