Austal Limited has a long association with the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service (ACBPS), which extends past the Cape Class Patrol Boats that Austal is currently manufacturing for the ACBPS.
The predecessor to Cape Class, the Bay Class Patrol Boats, are also Austal-built aluminium ships and have been operated by the ACBPS for 15 years.
At a keel laying ceremony for the sixth Cape Class Patrol Boat, Cape Leveque, on March 31, ACBPS Border Force Capability Division National Director Nigel Perry highlighted the strong performance of the Bay Class Patrol Boats.
“They have been operated at twice the tempo originally intended and in conditions well beyond those initially conceived,” he said. “They continue to provide very effective and reliable service today”.
At the November 2013 CHOGM meeting in Sri Lanka the Prime Minister announced the gifting of two Customs and Border Protection Bay Class Patrol Boats to Sri Lanka.
On Sunday 30 March, Mr Perry escorted the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy, Vice Admiral Colombage over the first of those vessels to be handed over today, ACV Corio Bay.
In his Cape Leveque keel laying address Mr Perry indicated that on handover, the vessel had completed 3,759 sea days, recording 351 days in one year alone, and steamed over 284,000 nautical miles.
Similarly, the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, the Hon Scott Morrison announced in Kuala Lumpur in early February 2014 that two Bay Class patrol boats would be gifted to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.
Last month, Border Protection officials escorted the Director General of MMEA I (Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency) on a tour of ACV Storm Bay.
Mr Perry commented in his address that the Director General’s First Admiral was “so struck with the condition of the ship that he stated it would set new standards for the MMEA”.
Austal CEO Andrew Bellamy said the gifting of these ships in such good condition was particularly pleasing for Austal as well.
“It is very good to see Austal ships being transferred in this manner and continuing to support agencies and navies across the region. I congratulate Customs on developing this initiative,” he said.
Austal, April 4, 2014