NORTHERN Australian shipping company Sea Swift officially launched its new vessel Newcastle Bay in Cairns last week on 17 October.

The vessel is to provide freight support for remote coastal communities in Far North Queensland.

Newcastle Bay recently arrived in Cairns after successful sea trials. Sea Swift launched it at an event attended by customers, local businesses, government officials and Sea Swift board and staff members.

The purpose-built vessel is 99.89 meters in length and capable of reaching a maximum speed of 16 knots. It will be deployed to meet schedules between Cairns and the Torres Strait.

Sea Swift chairman Steve Boulton anticipates the Newcastle Bay will be operational earlier than previously expected, with service commencing later this month after final safety checks have been completed.

“This is a very exciting day for not only everyone at Sea Swift, but communities across the region,” Mr Boulton said.

“We’re investing in the future, and the Newcastle Bay will significantly increase our cargo capacity, especially during Northern Queensland’s wet season.

“We are proud to be able to serve the communities that rely on us, and we believe this amazing new vessel will bring a positive change to their lives.”

Sea Swift said the official launch event marked the beginning of a new era for the company.

“We enjoyed celebrating this milestone today with our valued customers and partners,” Mr Boulton said.