Madagascar will soon take delivery of another rescue boat from France, having received three others in the last decade.
The vessel, named Diva Toulon, was loaded aboard the MN Tangara last month, which supplies French military facilities overseas. Diva Toulon was built in 1982 as the SNS 123 Notre Dame de la Serra and previously used by France for search and rescue work before being sold to French association Marins Sans Frontieres (MARS), refurbished and delivered to Madagascar.
The vessels is 13.3 metres long and 4.2 metres wide and powered by two 250 kW engines. Based around Sainte-Marie island, she will go a long way in assisting search and rescue efforts along Madagascar’s 7 200 kilometre long coast.
Marins Sans Frontieres has previously donated three other rescue boats to Madagascar, the Aida, Tosca and Norma, delivered in 2011, 2015 and 2017, according to Mer et Marine. The boats remain the property of MARS but are made available to Madagascar’s maritime and port authority, which is tasked with looking after them and supplying crew.
Since delivery the vessels have rescued hundreds of people at sea and conducted dozens of search and rescue operations.
Madagascar will receive another boat, Scala, later this year or early 2019, while another (Stella) is scheduled to be delivered a year later.
Diva Toulon is expected to arrive in Reunion in April this year before being ferried to Madagascar.