Canal Enhances Security with Nine New Boats

Thursday, September 09, 2004
The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has acquired nine new patrol boats – an investment to enhance security and safety at the Canal and to provide additional resources for the Security and Environment Department within the ACP. The new patrol boats will be used to monitor the waterway at both the Atlantic and Pacific entrances of the Canal, as well as Gatun Lake (the man-made lake formed during the Canal’s original construction).

Similar to the aluminum patrol boats currently used by the U.S. Coast Guard, the boats are 27 and 23 feet long, equipped with both inboard and outboard engines.

“The safety and security of the Canal, our customers and their cargo is of utmost importance to those of us who run the Canal. These new boats continue our effort to constantly modernize with the best equipment, bolstering security and safety,” said Juan Hector Diaz, Director of the Safety, Environment and Security Department.

The ACP plans to purchase four additional patrol boats. These boats have the same engine configuration as the 27 foot boats, but are 32 feet long. These additions will help to patrol and survey both Pacific and Atlantic anchorage areas.

Recent improvements in Canal reliability and efficiency are the result of the ACP’s permanent modernization program, with projects such as: the acquisition of new locomotives and the replacement of the locomotive tow tracks; the implementation of AIS, a sophisticated navigation system; the addition of a new launch; the implementation of the Automated Data Collection System; and the deepening of Gatun Lake. These projects increase efficiency, reliability and safety and reduce Canal Waters Time – leading to increased capacity.

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