Sunday, July 12, 2015

40 Years of the Maritime Wing of the Mauritius Police Force (1974-2014)

The Maritime Wing of the Mauritius Police Force - the National Coast Guard - in collaboration with the Mauritius Post released on 7 April 2014 a Special Commemorative Cover (SCC) to mark its 40th anniversary.

History of the Maritime Wing

1974: Genesis of the Maritime Wing - No.1 Patrol Vessel Squadron
INS Amar, an Abhay Class patrol vessel, was gifted from the Government of the Republic of India to the Government of Mauritius. The ship was commissioned as MNS Amar on April 3, 1974. She was later re-commissioned into service as CGS Amar on 24th July 1987. The Grand Old Lady was decommissioned on March 19, 1998.

1987: Mandovi Class Patrol Boats
Three 24-metre fibre glass Mandovi class vessels were inducted on July 24, 1987. CGV Barracuda and CGV Marlin were inducted in the National Coast Guard and one was used as Custom Launch. Subsequently, another three vessels of the type were inducted, namely: CGV Polaris, CGV Castor and CGV Sirius. These vessels retired from the service in late 1990s.

1990: Two Zhuk Class Patrol Boats - CG 81 & CG 82
Two Zhuks Class fast patrol ships gifted by the erstwhile USSR were commissioned on January 19, 1990 at Quay 'B'. The 24-metre fast patrol ships were christened CGS Rescuer and CGS Retriever. The ships were built in Feodesia, USSR. A soviet team of six people was tasked for undertaking the initial training of the Mauritian crew. During their six-month stay, they trained the Mauritian crew who took over the ship and have operated her since then. Both the Zhuks underwent successful re-engineering (westernisation) of their main propulsion and power generating plant in 2002 and 2009 respectively.

1993: CGS Guardian - CG 60
CGS Guardian, a Seaward Defence Boat (SDB) procured from India was commissioned on April 22, 1993. The ship is equipped with medium range weaponry and state of the art navigation and communication sensors and is capable of carrying out a wide variety of missions including Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) surveillance, anti-smuggling, search and rescue, anti-piracy patrol and outer island support. The ship has been the mainstay of the NCG for vital outer island support to Saint Brandon and sea training of personnel of No.1 Patrol Vessel Squadron.

1996: CGS Vigilant - CG 21
CGS Vigilant of 75 m overall length was commissioned on June 27, 1996, at Port Louis.  CGS Vigilant is an Offshore Patrol Vessel designed by the Western Canada Marine Group (WCMG) and built by ASMAR Shipyard, Talcahuano, Chile. The ship is fitted with a 40/56 Gun. CGS Vigilant is equipped with two reverse osmosis plant and has been tasked for EEZ Surveillance. The ship participated in 'International Fleet Review', Mumbai in 2001.

2001: CGS Observer - CG 71
The Interceptor boat christened CGS Observer was transferred on free lease to the Government of Mauritius from the Government of India in 2001. The boat was built in 1997 by Anderson Maritime Ltd. in India and was commissioned in Mauritius on April 21, 2001.

2014: CGS Barracuda - CG 31
The CGS Barracuda, 75 metres in length and can patrol 5,000 nautical miles at a speed of 20 knots will be operational by the end of 2014. Equipped with high technology and advanced systems of electronic navigation equipment, the OPV will be deployed in the exclusive economic zone for various monitoring missions, and will fight against piracy, illegal fishing and drug trafficking. The ship is constructed by Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd. (GRSE) Kolkata, India.

N.B.: The above timeline is from the SCC insert.

Website of the National Coast Guard with some very interesting information:

Technical Details

Release date: 7 April 2014
Stamp: Rs7 - Regattas
            From the 'Bicentenary of Mahebourg (1806-2006)' issue of 4 February 2006

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