RCMP launches new ‘weapon’
Lulu has been retired.
The 24-foot (eight-metre) RCMP vessel that has patrolled local waterways for more than 20 years was pulled from the Kaministiquia River on Thursday. The vessel is being replaced by a rigid hull inflatable boat that boasts the latest in electronic navigation equipment for law enforcement.
“We feel it’s an adept vessel for these capabilities in the Great Lakes,” said Sgt. Ian McNeill, the RCMP’s London-based division marine co-ordinator.
“By the end of 2012, we will have five similar vessels deployed at key border integrity locations across the province,” said McNeill, who helped design the vessel.
Thunder Bay is the first Ontario division detachment to get one of the craft.
On board, the vessel annexes powerful radar equipment featuring the forward looking infrared system that picks up heat signatures in low light or darkness.
A state-of-the-art navigation system is also in place.
A contained compartment facilitates the transport of prisoners to shore while a towing system enables captured vessels to be moved.
Built in British Columbia and powered by the most powerful, eco-friendly four-stroke outboard motors available, the boat can also assist other law enforcement agencies.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Normand Roy said he was excited to receive the new equipment.
“Our officers want to accomplish marine awareness on Lake Superior and study intelligence and crime trends to enhance our ability to detect criminal activity on the waterways,” Roy told The Chronicle-Journal.
Similar vessels have been tested successfully by the RCMP in offshore criminal applications. Local officers have finished training to operate this vessel, which will be in operation within the next few weeks.
“It’s not like any other vessel,” claimed Roy.
The boat will be in the water in the next few days, and crews will familiarize themselves with it.
“We have the capability to deploy the vessel right now,” said Roy.
“This is our community and we have to protect it both on and off the water.”