Press release


January 4, 2011

The United Arab Emirates Royal Naval Forces have handed over 5 patrol vessels to the Seychelles Coast Guard during an official ceremony held at the Coast Guard base this afternoon.

The handing over ceremony was attended by the Commander in Chief, President James Michel, as well as the Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier Leopold Payet, the Deputy Commander of the UAE Royal Naval Forces, Naval Staff Pilot Brigadier, His Highness Sheikh Saeed Bin Al Nahyan, and the Commanding Officer of the Seychelles Coast Guard, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Rosette.

“ The UAE pledged the donation of five maritime patrol vessels in July last year, and today it has delivered on this pledge with great speed and efficiency. We are deeply grateful for this gesture and we note its importance as our fight against piracy is an immediate concern, which requires swift action and concrete support from the international community,” said President Michel following his tour of the vessels.

The President noted that the technological capacities of the boats were of the highest standard, and that  Seychelles Coast Guard officers were well trained to execute their new missions on the boats.

“This donation is a great achievement for our armed forces, as we will be increasing our capacity to fight the piracy threat by ensuring greater maritime surveillance capacity. This will provide greater support and reassurance to our fishermen, as well as other mariners of our region,” said the President Michel.

HH Sheikh Saeed Bin Al Nahyan said that the gift of the five boats from the President of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayan and his people is a as long established ‘pledge of friendship’ of the two countries.

“ I hope that the two patrol boats and the three fast boats will help to limit the danger of piracy as well as enhance the joint cooperation between our two countries in the future,” said HH Sheikh Saeed Bin Al Nahyan.

The Chief of Defence Forces Brigadier Leopold Payet said the 5 new boats would be put to good use to ensure the safety and security of our people and all those that navigate the Indian Ocean.

“On behalf the Commander in Chief and the people of Seychelles, I thank the UAE, in particular the President of the UAE His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nayan for this gesture and all the assistance his government is providing to ensure security and social wellbeing  of the people of Seychelles. I would also like to thank our colleagues from the UAE Naval forces who have assisted in training of the Coast Guard personnel, ”said Brigadier Leopold Payet, the Chief of Defence Forces, during the handing-over ceremony.

Two of these patrol boats are 30 metres long and can carry around 15 people each. The first has been named La Flèche and the second is Le Vigilant.

The other three are fast response boats at seven metres long and have a capacity to carry seven crew members. They all have a top speed of about 30 knots. They have been given numbers, as is customary for smaller vessels.