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WA government to acquire patrol boat for northern waters

Image credit: Dongara Marine

A 24.95-metre large patrol vessel will be delivered to the Western Australia government under a multi-million-dollar contract.

A 24.95-metre large patrol vessel will be delivered to the Western Australia government under a multi-million-dollar contract.

Australian boat builder Dongara Marine will construct the vessel, which is expected to be used by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) primarily in northern waters and be based in Broome, Western Australia.

The 24-knot, 16-crew capacity aluminium monohull patrol boat is anticipated to undertake mission in illegal foreign fishing interception, domestic fisheries compliance, marine park management, shark incident response, marine safety, sea search and rescue, as well as whale disentanglement.

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It will also feature a 5.5-metre tender craft with a stern launch and recovery ramp to conduct inspections and boardings at sea.

Dongara Marine managing director Rohan Warr said the company expects that suppliers and subcontractors in Western Australia’s Mid West will be able to contribute to the project, designed by Western Australian naval architecture firm Southerly Designs.

“The award of this project is great recognition for the work our staff, subcontractors, and suppliers have been doing building many different types of new vessels for government agencies, commercial operators, and private buyers,” Warr said.

“We look forward to working with DPIRD to deliver a similarly successful shipbuilding project. In addition to a highly capable patrol boat that will bring lasting benefits to fisheries compliance operations, that success will also be evident in employment, training, and economic benefits that will flow from its construction.

“We have a highly qualified and skilled workforce (with over 60 staff) and supplier base in place but are always on the lookout for people and businesses who can add value to our projects and operations.”

Work is expected to commence on the vessel in October and be completed by September 2025, replacing a 25-year-old PV Walcott police patrol boat.

The vessel will be able to conduct extended voyages of up to 14 days with accommodation and food storage for 10 people, have a more efficient hull design with twin keels to provide improved stability and reduced roll, the latest navigation equipment, and infra-red night vision to support search and research and night-time patrols.

A fit-for-purpose fleet of research and patrol vessels is essential to the ongoing sustainability of the Western Australia fishing industry and the State’s Marine Stewardship Council certification, according to Fisheries and Regional Development Minister Don Punch.

“Research, stock assessment and monitoring, and compliance work underpins the sustainability of our state’s valuable fisheries and it is vital that we have a fit-for-purpose fleet of patrol and research vessels to support this work along WA’s 12,000-kilometre of coastline,” he said.

Investing in projects which support regional manufacturing also helps to generate local employment, in this case in the boat building and maintenance industry in the Mid West.”

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