The Puerto Rico Police Department (PRPD) has taken delivery of a new patrol boat from Louisiana-based boatbuilder Metal Shark.
The new 35-foot Defiant welded aluminum pilothouse patrol vessel, built at Metal Shark’s Jeanerette, La. production facility, joins the fleet of 36-foot Metal Shark Fearless-class high performance center console patrol boats delivered to the PRPD a year ago
The PRPD’s new patrol boat features a fully-enclosed, climate-controlled pilothouse for all weather operation, outfitted with Shockwave shock-mitigating seating for a crew of four, the builder said. Triple Mercury 300HP Verado four-stroke outboards push the vessel to speeds in excess of 45 knots while offering nimble handling and a smooth dry ride. A Wing urethane-sheathed, closed-cell-foam collar affords maximum impact protection during docking, boarding or other alongside maneuvers, while port and starboard dive reliefs facilitate water access.
The Metal Shark 35 Defiant is the first new boat to enter service with the PRPD since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico in September. The vessel has been put to use in the ongoing hurricane recovery efforts alongside the PRPD’s other Metal Sharks, all of which weathered the storm undamaged and have served on relief missions around the coast of mainland Puerto Rico and the islands of Culebra and Vieques.
The vessels are operated by the PRPD’s Fuerzas Unidas de Rapida Accion (FURA), which is an agency within the PRPD operating specialized divisions relating to and coordinating with U.S. federal law enforcement agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Department of Homeland Security
“These boats are a vital part of the PRPD’s efforts. They are operated in open-ocean conditions, around the clock, for up to 3,000 hours per year, so safety and reliability are crucial,” said Henry Irizarry, Metal Shark’s Vice President of International Business Development, during crew familiarity training aboard the new vessel in San Juan last December.