The Yorkshire and The Humber (YaTH) Marine and Underwater Search Unit will be unveiling the newest addition to its fleet this month – a custom-made catamaran that will help transform the way the sea, rivers, lakes and canals around the region are policed.
The 10m long Cheetah Marine catamaran has been specially built in the Isle of Wight over the past few months and is now ready for service. The new boat is a combined venture between four regional forces – Humberside, South, West and North Yorkshire Police. The combined investment of £220,000 comes from all four forces. The boat has a lifespan of around 25 years so will be available to serve all regional force areas for the next quarter of a century. It will be used operationally for policing the region’s waterways on the surface and underneath, and is a vital asset for working out at sea, patrolling the coastline and tackling crime.
On average the team expects to deploy around two to three times a week to help with rescues, search for missing people, to search for evidence, carry out searches of other vessels, go on high visibility patrols and for training.
With this new boat the unit will be able to go out more to help people who need assistance. The team will also be able to work better alongside its partners at the fire and rescue service, UK Border Force, HM Coastguard, RNLI, Humber Rescue and ABP.
The boat will be berthed at King George’s Dock in Hull, with 24-hour access, which will allow the team to react quickly. The catamaran is stable in rough waters and has a large deck, which provides a better platform from which the underwater teams can dive.
This one vessel does the job of two. It will join the rigid-hulled inflatable boats (RHIBs) already in use but its versatility and added functionality means it can combine the capabilities of both kinds of craft. On-board it is kitted out with two 300bhp top-of-the-line Mercury engines capable of over 40 knots. It has a total load of over one tonne, can carry between 10-12 people plus equipment, and is fitted with hi-tech equipment and a special winch for lifting objects out of the water.
Inspector Rob Grunner said, “The launch of the new boat marks an important day for the regional Marine and Underwater Search Unit. Taking possession of this vessel will open up a host of opportunities to allow us to keep the public safe, work with partners in the area to tackle crime and assist colleagues on the rivers and coastal areas of Yorkshire. It will allow the team to work longer hours in much more challenging environments, keeping them safe while they go about their duties.”