The following is text of a news release from Metal Shark:
(JEANERETTE, La.) — Four new high-speed patrol boats manufactured by shipbuilder Metal Shark have entered service with the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard (DCCG) on the island of Aruba.
The vessels were commissioned into service with a ceremony on Jan. 23 at DCCG’s Station Aruba in the district of Savaneta on Aruba’s southeast coast. Among those present were officials from the Aruban government, Dutch Ministry of Defense, DCCG, and Metal Shark, as well as local and regional media outlets.
The new Metal Shark patrol boats were acquired by the Dutch Ministry of Defense to bolster its capabilities across the Caribbean. In all, the DCCG will operate 12 Metal Sharks in the territorial waters of Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten, and Saba.
Designed in-house by Metal Shark and built at the company’s Jeanerette, La., production facility, the new 38-foot Defiant-class welded aluminum monohull patrol boats are powered by twin Cummins Marine QSB 6.7 diesel engines coupled with counter-rotating dual-prop stern drives. The vessels reach top speeds in excess of 45 knots.
A fully-enclosed pilothouse shields the crew from the elements, while Metal Shark’s signature “Pillarless Glass” pilothouse arrangement assures unimpeded visibility. A full suite of navigation electronics includes Raymarine radar, GPS, and multifunction display, and a FLIR thermal-imaging system for night operations. Composite armor panels provide ballistic crew protection, Shockwave Corbin shock-mitigating seating has been provided for a crew of six, and anti-fatigue floor covering has been employed in the pilothouse and the belowdecks crew spaces. For extended patrols at sea, accommodations include an enclosed head compartment, galley, and v-berth.
“With the acquisition of these four state-of-the-art high-performance patrol boats, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard has significantly increased its capabilities in Aruba,” said Josh Stickles, Metal Shark’s vice president of marketing, who was in Aruba for the commissioning ceremony. “Joining the four identical Metal Sharks delivered to neighboring Curacao last year, these vessels will strengthen the DCCG’s presence across the region.”
“This delivery represents the latest result of our multiyear collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Defense and end users in Curacao, Aruba, and St. Maarten, which will soon receive its own fleet of four Metal Shark patrol boats,” said Henry Irizarry, Metal Shark’s vice president of international business development.
The final four vessels built for the DCCG are currently en route to St. Maarten and will enter service following activation and crew instruction by a Metal Shark training team.