A POLICE launch that’s racked up an impressive three decades of service in local and deepsea waters is headed for a new life in Papua New Guinea.

Tasmania Police’s PV Van Diemen departed Hobart yesterday after its sale to the Australian Federal Police for new duties in PNG waters.

Assistant Commissioner Robert Blackwood said Van Diemen had been decommissioned from service after nearly 30 years of service patrolling waters around Tasmania and its islands.

“PV Van Diemen has been a significant asset to Tasmania Police and is renowned Australia wide,” Assistant Commissioner Blackwood said.  

“Since joining our fleet in 1995, the vessel has attained a highly successful patrol history, and proven itself on the waters of the Bass Strait, Tasman Sea, and rugged Southern Ocean.

“Having assisted in the detection and apprehension of illegal fishers and being involved in numerous rescues at sea – PV Van Diemen has travelled approximately 120,000 nautical miles in total (around 4000 nm per year) – that’s the equivalent of circumnavigating Australia 16 times, or Tasmania 150 times.” 

PV Van Diemen was built by WA’s Geraldton Boat Builders.

In May 2022 Tasmanian Police awarded a $13.4 million contract for a new fit-for-purpose, 23.9-metre offshore police patrol vessel to aluminium boat builder, Fine Entry Marine of WA, which had previously successfully delivered the PV Cape Wickham in 2017.

The new vessel, expected to arrive in 3Q 2024, will incorporate strategic innovation and design, with world class state-of-the-art search and rescue technology including a long range, digital Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) camera, sonar and seafloor search and 3D mapping capability.

Enhanced occupational health and safety features were a critical consideration for selecting this vessel and include a commercial gyroscopic stabiliser, a first for policing vessels within Australia, which reduces fatigue and increases crew comfort and safety by providing a more stable platform.

The aluminium constructed, twin keeled vessel is powered by twin 2000hp diesel engines and incorporates stern and bow thrusters to increase manoeuvrability and station holding capabilities.

The vessel will operate around Tasmania’s coastline out to 200 nm, with a range of 1000 nm. A high-speed rigid hull inflatable can be quickly launched and retrieved from the vessel which allows even greater access to the coastline.

The vessel’s operational functions will include search and rescue response, marine safety enforcement, patrolling of State and Commonwealth Marine Reserves and State security operations.