A new 27-foot boat is out patrolling our waters.
The Kia'iawa is harbor patrol officers latest gadget. It's new, it's fast, and it's the latest weapon for Harbor Police. On Wednesday the vessel received its dedication and now it's ready to be the primary boat for officers. The same boat was used for the past 15 years.
"Now we have an enclosed cabin. The capabilities we have are out of this world," said Kawika Agpalsa a Harbor Police officer.
It has an aluminum hull and is able to go 53 mph with its dual engines. It also come equipped with GPS and depth-finding gadgets. The Department of Transportation said these upgrades will help keep our ports safe.
"The mission of the vessel will be to patrol, to intercept and deter any time there are water site threats via a boat that may cause any type of threat to a cargo ship," said Davis Yogi, harbor administrator.
Keeping the harbors clear of threats is crucial. Cargo ships dock an average more than 3,600 times annually, delivering more than 9 million tons just at the Honolulu harbor alone.
The new boat will give the police increased mobility and better tools not just to protect the harbors but to also check for unauthorized vessels and suspicious activity.
"A way ward vessel coming in misses the Keehi Lagoon and ends up here, this vessel will intercept and guide them out if they are not supposed to be here," said Yogi.
The boat cost $390,000. Funding was provided by a federal grant. The boat the new one replaced will still remain in service as a supplemental patrol boat.