#DublinBay - An unusual visitor to Dun Laoghaire Harbour is a Dutch patrol vessel not to be confused with their navy but belongs to the coastguard service, writes Jehan Ashmore.
The 61m patrol vessel Barend Biesheuvel operated by the Netherlands Coastguard or 'Kustwacht' arrived yesterday from the homeport of Scheveningen.
Barend Biesheuvel berthed at St. Michaels Pier for the weekend and according to the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company will remain in the port until Monday (but will not be open to the public).
The patrol craft however can be easily observed from the public plaza beside the disused ferry terminal. If your taking a stroll on the East Pier, the craft can be seen from beyond the bandstand.
The word 'Kustwacht' painted amidships on the hull in addition has the customary angled red and white painted strips. This livery scheme is internationally recognised for coastguard and emergency towing vessels (ETV) world-wide.
The Netherlands Coastguard is an independent civil organization with own tasks, competences and responsibilities.
The main three goals of the service are :
- A responsible use of the North Sea;
- To provide services that contribute to safety and security at sea;
- Upholding (inter)national laws and duties.
The work of the Coastguard is to coordinate and carry out (15 operational tasks) for six ministries involved in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. Among the broad remit of the service involves customs monitoring of imports and exports, search and rescue, fishery monitoring and clearing of explosives.
Barend Biesheuvel cuts a sleek profile from the bow where a stepped superstructure leads to the bridge on the third deck. Immediately aft of the wheelhouse is the work deck where among the machinary is a single forward 6 ton crane and an aft-mounted 15 ton crane to enable a variety of tasks.
Completed in 2001 the vessel is a larger version of a pair of sisters, though they do not feature an aft work deck and associated crane-handling capability.
Asides the patrol craft, the service has at its disposal an ETV, sea-going bouyage tenders and multipurpose vessels.