By Mark Edward Nero
Bremerton, Washington-based aluminum boats manufacturer SAFE Boats International has completed the first Coastal Interceptor Vessel (CIV) on contract from US Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations division.
A ceremony was held at SAFE Boats facilities on May 26 to name the vessel the Alexandria, as well as celebrate the vessel as SBI’s 2000th delivered craft. Attendees included Customs officials, Congressional staff members, local government officials and business people, and equipment suppliers.
The CIV is a 41-foot rugged, highly maneuverable vessel, capable of high-speed interceptions in close proximity to other vessels as well as open ocean speeds at well over 54 knots. It can be configured for a number of mission operations including pursuing suspect vessels for the purpose of boarding, searching, and when necessary, arresting violators and seizing the suspect vessel and contraband.
The vessel is a variant of the SAFE 41 Interceptor, a design currently in service with the Royal Bahamian Police, Royal Gibraltar Defense Forces, Colombian Navy and a number of private owners.
Following the acceptance of this first vessel, Air and Marine Operations said it intends to acquire up to 52 of the new CIVs to meet emerging Department of Homeland Security mission requirements. The contract, should all options be executed, is valued at over $48 million.
“SAFE Boats is honored to be delivering our milestone 2000th hull as the first Coastal Interceptor Vessel to US Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations,” company President and CEO Dennis Morris said in a statement. “This is the next phase in a longstanding relationship we have with CBP dating back to 2002, and we are optimistic that other international defense agencies will be interested in the vessel for similar mission requirements.”