In 2012 not a boat at the Defence Force was working…five years later nine new vessels and a dock facility!
Coral Harbour, 02 MAY ‘17 (RBDF): – Having completed a major refit, one additional Royal Bahamas Defence Force patrol craft is now ready for action.
After undergoing extensive maintenance and repairs overseas at the Maaskant Shipyards in Stellendam, Holland for 8 months, Her Majesty’s Bahamian Ship NASSAU docked at the Defence Force Base for the first time under the command of Commander Gregory Brown. The 60-meter (200 foot) Bahama Class vessel arrived in the capital after sailing for 18 days from the Dutch province of South Holland.
HMBS Nassau’s ship’s company was able to weather rough seas during the transatlantic voyage, as they made a port of call at Funchal, Madeira–a Pottuguese Island off the east coast of Portugal–for replenishment of supplies.
The docking of HMBS Nassau at the Coral Harbour Base was made possible by the multi-million dollar Sandy Bottom Project. The 2014 signed agreement between the government of The Bahamas, Damen and VAN Oord allocated funds for the acquisition of 9 patrol craft and the refit of 2 Bahama Class vessels. The agreement also included harbour dredgings, as well as improvement and creation of adequate jetties, docks and breakwaters.
Coral Harbour Base was unable to accommodate the Bahama Class vessels prior to being dredged. HMBS Nassau becomes the first of the Bahama Class vessels to be facilitated by the newly dredged Harbour.
Welcoming the crew at the Defence Force Base was Captain Tellis Bethel, Commander Defence Force (Acting). He expressed confidence that HMBS Nassau will enhance the overall operations of the Defence Force in its commitment in moving Forward, Upward, Onward, Together in guarding our Heritage.