2 new patrol boats to support police during events at Marina Reservoir
TWO new patrol boats will ply the waters around the Marina Reservoir, providing extra pairs of eyes during major events such as the National Day Parade or Formula 1 Grand Prix.
They replace older boats in the ongoing efforts to enhance the Police Coast Guard's maritime crime-fighting and counter-terrorism capabilities, said the Singapore Police Force.
Yesterday, it commissioned the boats, Archerfish and Tigerfish, which are ready to be deployed immediately.
They will support the police's overall security operations when major events are staged at the Marina Reservoir.
The Police Coast Guard, which carries out security operations along the Singapore River, Kallang Basin and Marina Reservoir, may now be deployed nearer to the shoreline and to patrol waterways near Parliament House during big events.
The new boats, with their superior equipment over the older vessels, are designed for longer hours of operation and for boarding and search operations in the reservoir and rivers, said the police.
They are faster than their predecessors - able to travel in excess of 25 knots - and can pursue and engage intruding crafts.
"We encounter quite a number of vessels intruding into the no-go zone (during events)," said Inspector Lee Hong Tat, 34, who has been with the Police Coast Guard for 15 years.
"Previously, we wouldn't know until someone calls but with this boat and the radar, we know... and we can act fast."
Capabilities include an automatic identification system, satellite gyro positioning system, voyage data recorder and closed-circuit television system.
Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs, said at the commissioning ceremony at the Marina Barrage that attacks in Europe and in the region had shown the damage a few can cause.
He emphasised that the boats are the coast guard's "key response to threats that are detected through our surveillance".
"Radicalised people could exploit the reservoir to mount attacks," said Mr Lee.