The Costa Rican Coast Guard inaugurated three new patrol boats in a ceremony at the Caldera Naval base in Puntarenas on Friday.
The boats, two interceptor crafts with top speeds of 93 kilometers per hour and a two-hulled catamaran donated by the non-governmental conservation organization, the MarViva Foundation, will patrol Costa Rican waters in the fight against narco-trafficking and illegal fishing boats. President Laura Chinchilla was on hand for the inauguration.
“Costa Rica must initiate a long journey to reclaim its sovereignty over the immense piece of ocean over which it has jurisdiction,” said MarViva general director, Jorge Jiménez at the ceremony. “An ocean that can be a source of development and whose resources – minerals, wind energy, tourism and fish – we only are just discovering.”
The Coast Guard spent approximately $200,000 on each of the two interceptor boats whose primary mission will be high-speed pursuit and interdiction of illegal drugs smuggled through the sea. MarViva donated the catamaran specifically to augment the Coast Guard’s capacity to patrol Isla del Coco – a national marine park some 530 kilometers off the Pacific Coast – and the Submarine Mountains against illegal fishing and drug smuggling.
In December of 2011, MarViva created a $2 million trust fund to provide financing for the maintenance and repair of the donated patrol boat.