The Yorkshire and The Humber (YaTH) Marine and Underwater Search Unit will be unveiling the newest addition to their team this month – a custom made catamaran that will help transform the way we police the sea, rivers, lakes and canals around the region.
The 10 metre long Cheetah Marine catamaran has been specially built in the Isle of Wight over the past few months and is now ready for service.
On Saturday 29 September from 10am our officers will be at Hull Marina for the official launch of the new boat which is happening at midday. It is a combined venture between our four regional forces – Humberside, South, West and North Yorkshire Police.
The combined investment of £220,000 comes from all four forces. The boat has a lifespan of around 25 years so will be available to serve all regional force areas for the next quarter of a century. It will be used operationally for policing our waterways on the surface and underneath, and is a vital asset for working out at sea, patrolling our coastline and tackling crime.
Our officers will be able to do much more to help the public, save lives and keep them safe in our waters. On average the team expects to deploy around 2 to 3 times a week to help with rescues, search for missing people, to search for evidence, carry out searches of other vessels, go on high visibility patrols and for training. Of course the deployment can change from day-to-day, depending on what is required of us and what help we can give..
With this new boat we’ll be able to go out more to help people who need our assistance. We’ll also be able to work better alongside our partners at the Fire and Rescue service, UK Border Force, Coastguard, RNLI, Humber Rescue and ABP.
We will be able to stay out at sea for longer and go further out. The catamaran is more stable in rough waters and has a large deck which provides a better platform for our underwater teams to dive from. As the boat will be berthed at King George’s Dock in Hull it will also give us 24 hour access to the water so we can react more quickly.
The vessel does the job of two. It will join the rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) we already use but its versatility and added functionality means it can combine the capabilities of both kinds of craft. On-board it is kitted out with two 300bhp top-of-the-line Mercury engines capable of over 40 knots. It has a total load of over one tonne, can carry between 10-12 people plus equipment, and is fitted with hi-tech equipment and a special winch for lifting objects out of the water.
Inspector Rob Grunner said: "The launch of the new boat marks an important day for the regional Marine and Underwater Search Unit. Taking possession of this vessel will open up a host of opportunities to allow us to keep the public safe, work with partners in the area to tackle crime and assist colleagues on the rivers and coastal areas of Yorkshire.
“It will allow the team to work longer hours in much more challenging environments, keeping them safe while they go about their duties.
“Senior leaders from around the region will be there for the launch. Families and children are welcome to come along and chat with members of the team, explore the kit they use and have a look around the boat. There will also be a chance to win a ride-along on the river with proceeds going to the Wet Wheels Charity who have worked with and assisted the team recently. We look forward to seeing everyone there.”
Photos of the boat are available as attachments. It had been at the Southampton Boat Show before being brought up to Hull.
(On 29 September the official launch of the boat will take place near the end of Humber Street at Hull Marina. Officers as well as representatives from the Coastguard, Fire and Rescue Service, ABP and other agencies will be there from around 10am onwards.)