Newer, faster patrol boats arrive

Two new vessels have arrived in the Cayman Islands boosting the capability of the joint Police, Customs and Immigration Marine Unit.

new boats

New interceptor boat in action.
Photo: RCIPS

The two 38-foot fast interceptor vessels are the second and third additions to the fleet following the arrival of Cayman Defender in September and are part of a $7.7 million government investment into border protection.

In total, four new vessels and a state of the art marine base to be built at the end of Hirst Road in Newlands to house customs, police and immigration officers are being added to enhance border patrols.

The first step to launching the new boats in Cayman waters was taken on Monday, when Marine Unit officers began an intense one-week training course with Safe Boats International, the manufactures of the vessels.

The training covered topics such as boat construction, engine installation and maintenance, electronic system management, hull repair and boat maintenance.

‘This specialist training will ensure that the vessels, and the Marine Unit, reach their full potential,’ said Royal Cayman Islands Police Superintendent Mike Needham, who has led the Marine expansion project. ‘Once they are on the water, there is little doubt that they will have an immediate effect on drugs and firearms trafficking.’

The fourth and final addition to the Marine Fleet, a 65-foot all purpose patrol boat is expected to arrive in Cayman in the coming weeks.