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Nautic Africa launches Sentinel vessels for Nigeria

Nautic Africa has launched two 35 metre Sentinel vessels for a Nigerian customer, after laying their keels in December last year. The vessels are expected to arrive in Nigeria on 25 August. Nautic Africa, a Paramount Group company, launched the two new vessels, Augustina II and Princess Ebikenie, in Table Bay Harbour last week. They are capable of top speeds of 29 knots, and can reach 26 knots when fully fuelled – even with the weight of additional ballistic panelling throughout the deck level.

The 108-tonne aluminium-hulled vessels have been designed with versatility in mind and feature a number of significant improvements to Nautic’s standard Sentinel model, the company said. Both vessels are capable of staying at sea with a full crew and security team complement of 16 to 18 people for four weeks at a time without refuelling when conducting a security patrol or escort function.

This capability is facilitated by the four main fuel tanks and day tank with a combined capacity of 56,000 litres. In addition, a large walk-in fridge and freezer provide capacity to produce 3,000 litres of water a day using the onboard desalination plant.

Enhancements for PLC alarm monitoring and tank level sensing are accomplished throughout the vessel via colour Human Machine Interface (HMI) touch screens. Six CCTV cameras feed directly to the Captain and Chief Engineer’s cabins as well to the bridge. This, coupled with the intercom system, gives the crew the ability to communicate well in any emergency. The Captain is also able to view the chart plotter display in his cabin.

In addition, the surveillance capacities of the Augustina II are enhanced with the fitment of a 92-nautical mile range S-Band Radar. This technology gives the crew the ability to detect objects in areas during heavy rainstorms – a capability critical to the equatorial waters where she will be operational.

Outfitted for safety during crew transfers, Princess Ebikenie features a ballisitically protected crew transfer seating area containing 40 IMO (International Maritime Organisation) rated seats. Access at the forward section of the seating area provides entry to the vessel’s bow, which has been specifically designed for the safe transfer of crew via platform-access ladders. To facilitate safe docking and transfers, two 35 kW electric bow thrusters have been fitted, providing redundancy and fine bow control in windy conditions or areas with strong currents.

Nautic Africa concluded a R600 million deal in mid-2013 to build seven of the 35 m multi-role patrol vessels for West African clients. The first of class, MV Sir Emeka Offor, was launched in August 2014. Given the area that the vessel will operate in, the vessels features composite ballistic protection, with the wheel house capable of stopping a projectile fired by an AK-47. The vessel is also fitted for, but not with, defensive weapons. Driven by three Caterpillar engines, the vessel has a crew of eight and can accommodate 18 passengers at a maximum speed in excess of 28 knots.

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