Eden water police take delivery of tech-filled new vessel

Eden's water police have some brand new toys at their disposal with the delivery of a newly commissioned vessel.

NSW Police Southern Region Chief Inspector Peter Volf, Marine Area Command Sergeant Steven Judd and Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb launch Eden's new police vessel on Thursday. Photo: Ben Smyth

NSW Police Southern Region Chief Inspector Peter Volf, Marine Area Command Sergeant Steven Judd and Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb launch Eden's new police vessel on Thursday. Photo: Ben Smyth

NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb visited Eden on Thursday, February 13, to officially launch the new Class 2 patrol boat.

Seven of the vessels were unveiled in Sydney in December as replacements for the current fleet patrolling the NSW coastline and waterways.

Each of the Class 2 boats is equipped with a five-metre tender, which allows for boarding of other vessels, medical evacuations at sea, and even for rapid incident response in shallower water - particularly useful on the Far South Coast with its rocky shorelines and multiple estuary entrances.

The new vessels are larger and heavier than those they replace, but have much-improved technology and equipment on board.

Eash of the new vessels has a tender built-in for rapid response boarding and shallow water patrols. Photo: Ben Smyth

Eash of the new vessels has a tender built-in for rapid response boarding and shallow water patrols. Photo: Ben Smyth

"The old boats have been in operation for 15 years and have done 1.2million nautical miles in that time - so it was time to refresh the fleet," Assistant Commissioner Webb said.

Eden Marine Area Command Sergeant Steven Judd said while a little emotional about saying farewell to the old boat, he and his team were really excited about the new version.

"You live on these things - for days at a time sometimes," Sergeant Judd said.

"We loved the old ones, but these are a lot more comfortable."

He also said even simple ideas like roof windows above the helm will make situations like medevacs involving helicopters much easier.

Eden Marine Area Command Sergeant Steven Judd shows Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb through the new patrol vessel. Photo: Ben Smyth

Eden Marine Area Command Sergeant Steven Judd shows Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb through the new patrol vessel. Photo: Ben Smyth

Assistant Commissioner Webb said what she found "really exciting" was that water police staff had input into the design and build of the new vessels, making sure they were based on their needs and demands.

"Whether organised crime, wildlife, or abalone, there's always a market unfortunately, so there is plenty of work for the water police down here," she said.

"And more recently the water police have been involved a lot with responding and assisting with the fires.

"They worked with our colleagues in Victoria and went down to Mallacoota to assist those who were stranded.

"They jump in wherever they can to help."

The Marine Area Command based in Eden patrol the waters from north of Ulladulla to the border - as well as the inland waterways in the Snowy Mountains and Murray River system.

The seven new Class 2 vessels will be spread between Eden, Port Kembla, two in Sydney, Port Stephens, Newcastle and Coffs Harbour.

Each of the new vessels feature the latest technology, including a forward looking infra-red (FLIR) camera to assist police crews search for lost mariners or detect crime threats. The navigation and electronics are supported by the NSW Police Force integrated telecommunication and satellite systems.

The new vessels are 18.5 metres in length, weigh approximately 34 tonne and have a fuel capacity of 7884 litres. The marine diesel engines have a top speed of 27 knots (or 50kmh).

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