The keel of the Finnish Coast Guard’s new patrol vessel was laid in Gdansk on Tuesday

Construction of the Finnish Coast Guard’s new patrol vessels is proceeding according to plan, the Meyer Werft Turku shipyard, commissioned by the Gdansk Shipyard to build two such vessels as partially equipped, announced on Wednesday. The keel-laying ceremony for the vessels took place on Tuesday 12 March 2024.

On 12 March 2024, the keel laying ceremony was held at the Baltic Operator shipyard in Gdansk – the keel-laying ceremony of a ship with shipyard construction n° Meyer Turku NB-1406 took place. Representatives of the Finnish Coast Guard, Meyer Turku Oy shipyard, Baltic Operator shipyard and the classification society Bureau Veritas were present.

The keel-laying ceremony is an old tradition. Before the keel is laid, the ordering party, i.e. the Finnish Coast Guard (Border Guard), and a representative of the shipyard place ‘lucky coins’ under the keel, i.e. the first block placed on the hull assembly site. Later, the coins will be transferred inside – to the finished ship to bring good luck to it. The tradition of placing coins dates back to the days of sailing ships and the custom of placing coins under the heel of the mast to bring the ship good luck in sailing.

“The patrol vessels are built in the facilities of our long-term partner shipyards under the guidance and in full compliance with Meyer Turku’s quality requirements. The cooperation, which started brilliantly, has now moved, on schedule, to a stage where we can celebrate the achievement of one of the milestones of traditional shipbuilding,” – Tapani Pulli, Deputy General Manager of Meyer Turku, said on the occasion of the ceremony.

The operational capacity of the Border Guard of Finland (Rajavartiolaitos – Gränsbevakningsväsendet) on the high seas is largely based on the continuous operation and readiness of multipurpose maritime patrol vessels. They are at sea for approximately 330 days a year.
Currently, the Finnish Border Guard has three offshore patrol vessels (OPVs), of which the patrol vessel Turva, introduced in 2014, is considered state-of-the-art. Preparations are underway to relinquish the two older patrol vessels once the new vessels are completed in Gdansk and Turku. The first is, according to the contract, to be completed by the end of 2025 and the second by the end of 2026.

The operational capabilities of the Finnish Border Guard vessels currently under construction far exceed those of the old patrol vessels. The vessels’ ability to monitor and respond to border protection tasks and to control and protect territorial integrity will be significantly improved with the new vessels. Advanced surveillance systems and data transfer solutions will improve the maintenance and sharing of real-time surveillance information.

The new ships enhance the ability to prevent major accidents and conduct rescue operations. All vessels are immediately ready to control and deal with the consequences of major environmental accidents, and the total oil spill collection capacity will be approximately double that of today. The new vessels will generate low emissions and will be energy efficient.

photo: Meyer Yurku


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