2 new police boats to patrol Marina Bay
New Marina Reservoir Patrol Boats to boost anti-terror efforts
When the Marina Bay countdown for the New Year kicks off in three months, two boats patrolling the area will help make sure that the only bangs heard will be that of fireworks.
The Police Coast Guard (PCG) held a naming and commissioning ceremony yesterday at the Marina Barrage for two new Marina Reservoir Patrol Boats (MRPB) replacing the older boats, which have been around for 30 years.
As the Marina Barrage is a freshwater catchment area, the new boats are named after nimble and tough freshwater fishes, Archerfish and Tigerfish.
The boats are designed for extended use of beyond 12 hours, and for boarding and search operations.
They can cruise at speeds of over 25 knots, or about 46kmh.
But they will patrol only the Singapore River, Kallang Basin and Marina Reservoir during major events, including the National Day Parade and the F1 Grand Prix.
The Marina Bay area has been identified by the police as a potential terrorist target because it houses prime locations such as Parliament House, the Marina Bay floating platform, and the Marina Bay Sands integrated resort.
Just last month, six militants were arrested by Indonesian police for plotting a rocket attack that would have been launched from Batam, Indonesia, to Marina Bay.
Guest of honour Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs, said: "These new MRPBs will enable PCG to respond swiftly and decisively to incidents and emergencies within the Singapore River, and the Marina reservoir.
"Safeguarding our waters and sea borders is important in our defence against security threats."
CCTV cameras will also be installed progressively from next year to expand surveillance along the coastlines, he said.
Other technologies in the pipeline include unmanned surface vessels, panoramic electro-optic sensors - a type of surveillance system that can analyse its video footage and flag suspicious activity to officers - and tethered unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).
The UAVs are drones that can fly to a height of 50m, carrying electro-optic sensors to give officers a bird's-eye view of the surrounding waters.
THEN AND NOW
PC CLASS SPECIFICATIONS
Engine: 230 horsepower
Maximum speed: 31 knots
Operating capability: About 12 hours
NEW BOATS' SPECIFICATIONS
Engine: 150 horsepower
Maximum speed: More than 25 knots
Operating capability: More than 12 hours
Features of the new boats
The two Marina Reservoir Patrol Boats are equipped with new, state-of-the-art equipment which previous patrol craft did not have.
- An automatic identification system that can track craft in Singapore's port waters.
- Xenon search lights to facilitate identification and search at night.
- Voyage data recorders which will collect and store data from various onboard sensors.
- A dedicated closed circuit television system.