HMC Protector: New customs patrol boat

A new patrol boat has been launched by the Border Force to protect UK waters

The HMC Protector is 50m (164ft) long and weighs 400 tonnes. It will replace HMC Sentinel, which was decommissioned last year. The cutter can reach 25 knots, has a crew of 12 and is the largest of the Border Force’s fleet of five.

These vessels operate 24 hours a day, patrolling high-risk areas of coastline, with the primary function of intercepting drug trafficking and prohibited goods.

Home Secretary, Theresa May, officially launched the Protector at a ceremony in London on Monday 17 March. “We are an island and sea-faring nation and HM cutters have a proud history of patrolling and protecting our shores that stretches back hundreds of years,” she said.

Last year Border Force officers boarded over 2,000 vessels arriving in our waters, ranging from fishing boats to freight-carrying ships.