California’s New Marine Patrol Boats Assemble for First Time for Dedication Ceremony, Training
BERKELEY - California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) Director Ryan Broddrick today christened the Department’s fleet of five state-of-the-art marine patrol boats at a dedication ceremony in Berkeley. Stationed along the coast in major ocean ports, the vessels will enhance the Department’s ability to enforce the laws that protect ocean resources against environmental violations off the 1,100-mile California coast.
"These new high-tech patrol boats will greatly assist our game wardens in their efforts to oversee and protect California’s marine resources," Broddrick said. "The dedication of these vessels as the newest boats to join the marine enforcement fleet signifies our commitment to oversee, manage and protect California’s marine fish and wildlife resources."
For the first time, all five of the patrol boats are now online. The five new vessels are 58-foot catamarans and are equipped with twin 660-horsepower diesel-powered engines. Each one features cutting-edge technology and speed that make them formidable against all vessels on the open sea. Vessels were purchased with funds from the Marine Life Management Act and through legislative appropriations.
These new vessels support the plan to replace many of DFG’s larger offshore patrol boats with newer and more efficient foil-supported catamaran designs. The new boats are capable of responding at almost twice the speed, and are more fuel efficient and less costly to operate.
Following are the five new patrol vessels (P/V) and the areas they cover:
P/V Marlin, Berkeley - San Francisco Bay to Fort Bragg, as well as offshore waters and the Farallon Islands.
P/V Steelhead, Monterey - Monterey to San Francisco, including the Farallon Islands.
P/V Swordfish, Ventura - San Luis Obispo County waters in the north to Los Angeles County in the south, as well as around the Channel Islands.
P/V Coho, Long Beach - Los Angeles basin including the Channel Islands.
P/V Thresher, Dana Point - All ocean waters from the California/Mexico border to Point Conception, and out to Catalina and San Clemente Islands, as well as all offshore waters.
With the addition of the new patrol boats, the DFG’s fleet of enforcement vessels now totals seven. Already online are the P/V Albacore, based out of Eureka and covering the waters from Crescent City to Fort Bragg, and the P/V Bluefin from Morro Bay, which patrols the waters from Monterey to Pt. Conception.
Each of the new boats carries an 18-foot Zodiac Hurricane skiff and operates an "A" frame hoist system for safe launch and retrieval of the skiff in rough seas. During normal ocean tours, which may last several days, the vessels will carry a permanent crew of four. Each boat includes a lieutenant as skipper, two boarding officers, and a motor vessel engineer.
"These patrol boats, along with two existing large patrol vessels and 15 medium-sized patrol boats, comprise the largest, most modern conservation law enforcement marine fleet in the world," said DFG’s Assistant Enforcement Chief Frank Spear.
All of the new boats are capable of patrolling out to 200 miles from shore and have a range of 550 miles per trip. By coordinating the patrol activities of the DFG’s fleet with twin-engine aircraft spotters through high-level communication systems, DFG’s patrol boats will have overlapping support and can be used for many other types of law enforcement activities, including Homeland Security efforts.
In addition to helping carry out the Department’s enforcement mission to enforce current regulations and legislative mandates, these new patrol boats and their crews will also provide Department scientists with research and resource management support, assist with search-and-rescue operations, and respond to major pollution incidents.