The second patrol boat gifted by Australia to the Sri Lanka Navy arrived at the Port of Colombo on 25th June 2014. It was ceremonially welcomed in accordance with naval traditions on arrival. Commander of the Navy, Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage, Chief of Staff of the Navy, Rear Admiral Jayantha Perera and Commander Western Naval Area, Rear Admiral Sirimevan Ranasinghe were among the high ranking naval officers that were present at the ceremonial reception.
The Commander of the Navy in his address stated that this was another historic day for the Sri Lanka Navy. He commended the Commanding Officer and the crew for bringing the patrol boat safely from Cairns, Australia to the Port of Colombo and thanked the two officials of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service for the assistance given during the long voyage. The Commander of the Navy also stated that SLN was looking forward to formerly deploy the two gifted vessels very soon after their commissioning.
The deed of transfer for the second patrol boat was signed by the Commander of the Sri Lanka Navy and the Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka at the Naval Headquarters in Colombo on 03rd June 2014. Subsequently, the flag transfer ceremony signaling the formal hand over took place on the same day in Cairns, Australia.
The Bay Class boat had served the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service under the name “Hervey Bay” before being gifted to Sri Lanka. It is 38.2 meters long and has a 2.3 meter draft. With a maximum speed of 24 knots, the boat can cover a range of 3,000 nautical miles.
Australian Prime Minister, Hon. Tony Abbott, while in Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting pledged the gift of two patrol vessels to SLN as a capacity enhancement measure. He commended the Sri Lanka Navy’s efforts in preventing people smuggling at a high-level meeting held onboard Sri Lanka Navy’s Flag Ship Sayura at the Port of Colombo on 17th November 2013.
The fully furbished boat will substantially augment the SLN’s capacity as it is able to cover a large area of the Indian Ocean and serve Sri Lanka’s Search and Rescue Area more effectively. The gift symbolizes the commitment of the key partners in enhancing maritime security in the region and the bilateral cooperation that exists between the two governments in combating people smuggling.
The first patrol boat gifted by Australia arrived at the Port of Colombo on 24th April 2014 and was named P350. It had served the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service under the name “Corio Bay” before being gifted to the Sri Lanka Navy.