7, July 2016
Nautic Africa recently delivered two Sentinel vessels to a Nigerian customer, which has received a number of other vessels from Nautic. The 35 metre vessels, Aquashield I and Aquashield II, were launched during a ceremony in Cape Town on 24 May and delivered on 16 June, Nautic Africa told defenceWeb. They will be used in the oil and gas industry in the Gulf of Guinea, with their main tasks being security and patrol, crew supply and logistics.
“MRVs [multi-role vessels] have become an essential component in the maritime security operations of African countries requiring vessels capable of performing diverse operations – from patrolling and crew transfer duties to combating oil spills, fire-fighting and dealing with security threats,” commented Nautic CEO James Fisher at the launch. The aluminium vessels are powered by three Caterpillar engines, giving a top speed of 28 knots. They are equipped to sleep 18 people, with seating for 16, and can carry up to 30 tons of cargo on the aft deck. For security missions, they have ballistically protected firing positions and a ballistically protected wheelhouse.
Nautic said the build project also helped forge a strong relationship with Access Bank, the financing institution for the vessels. Roberto Imowo of Access Bank emphasised this at the launch where he spoke about opportunities for future projects. Nautic has sold a number of Sentinels to customers in Africa and the type has done well in West Africa with oil and gas support companies. Nautic Africa concluded a R600 million deal in mid-2013 to build seven of the 35 metre multi-role patrol vessels for West African clients. The first of class, MV Sir Emeka Offor, was launched in August 2014. Another two Sentinels, Augustina II and Princess Ebikenie, were launched in Cape Town in August 2015.