Three new Customs Sector Patrol Launches (SPL) commissioned today (December 17) at Customs Marine Base, Stonecutters Island, marked a significant day for the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Service on its historic 100th anniversary with its anti-smuggling maritime enforcement capability greatly enhanced, said the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Richard Yuen.
Each SPL is 30 metres long, 6.5 metres wide, with a shallow draft of 1.8 metres and a maximum speed of 26 knots. These three modern, maneuverability enhanced and well-equipped SPLs will replace the "Damen III" launches that have been in service for more than two decades.
With the commissioning of the three new launches, the Customs fleet now has a total of 21 vessels including five SPLs, four high speed pursuit craft, two shallow water launches, two harbour launches and eight inflatable craft, patrolling all waters of Hong Kong round the clock to detect and deter sea smuggling activities.
Ends/Thursday, December 17, 2009