Oceanic Viking secures bareboat charter from Australia

News - October 1, 2004

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Eidesvik in Norway has confirmed that its cable ship Oceanic Viking has been taken on a bareboat charter by the Australian Customs Service.

Oceanic Viking, which will be armed, will work as a Southern Ocean patrol vessel and crew to prevent illegal fishing, and will conduct year-round patrols in Australian waters surrounding the remote Heard Island and McDonald Islands.

The vessel's speed and endurance will boost the capability of Customs to respond to and apprehend vessels targeting the valuable Patagonian toothfish.

Oceanic Viking will fly the Australian flag and be manned by Australian personnel.

Senator Chris Ellison, Minister for Justice and Customs and Senator Ian Macdonald, Minister for Fisheries, Forestry and Conservation, recently confirmed that Eidesvik's had been selected as the preferred tenderer.

The contract was awarded to P&O Maritime Services, who will use Oceanic Viking to fulfill the contract.

The Australian Prime Minister John Howard announced the two-year armed patrol programme in December 2003 and funding of A$47.8 million in 2004-05 and A$41.4 million in 2005-06 was confirmed in the Australian Federal Budget earlier this year.

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