The Ugandan government will in June take delivery of two 30-foot long Pursuit OS 315 patrol boats, which will be used by the marine police to conduct security patrols on Lake Victoria.
In a statement posted on the US company’s website, Pursuit Boats dealer and commissioning agent Bryan Boyd said Ugandan officials, who have already been to Fort Pierce to witness the final sea trial runs of the boats, have approved the sale and the boats will shortly be transported by freighter to a Kenyan port en route to Uganda. They will be trucked the final 600 miles (1 000 km) to Lake Victoria.
“We’ve sold (boats to Uganda) and Pursuit sells quite a few boats that go overseas, even though the international economy is also having its ups and downs like ours is. The boat business has been pretty tough for a while, but now to think we are shipping boats to Uganda is pretty cool,” Boyd said.
Each of the 31-foot long, hard topped, dual console boats is powered by two Yamaha 300 horsepower, four-stroke engines which allow the boat to reach a top speed of 50 miles per hour. It also has the capacity to carry 280 gallons (1 075 litres) of fuel.
Uganda shares maritime boundaries on Lake Victoria with Tanzania and Kenya. Lake Victoria, which also forms the headwaters of the Nile River, occupies a total area of 26 600 square miles and is Africa’s largest lake.
Following the discovery of petroleum deposits within the Ugandan and Tanzanian sections of the lake, all three countries have stepped up security and surveillance operations to guard oil exploration operations and prevent illegal fishing.
Late last year, Tanzanian defence minister Shamsi Vuai Nahodha announced that his country is busy strengthening the Tanzanian People’s Defence Force (TPDF) to confront the complex internal and external security threats faced by resource-rich nations following the discovery of uranium, natural gas. Oil explorations are ongoing in Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Nyasa.
Uganda has around 200 personnel in its Naval Service and three Yugoslav AL8K type vessels on Lake Victoria.