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Monday, 17 September, 2001, 15:24 GMT 16:24 UK
Customs ship seeks smugglers
Seeker
HMCC Seeker cost more than 4m to build
A new customs vessel, tasked with combatting smuggling around the UK coastline, has arrived in Dover.

It is the latest addition to Her Majesty's Customs Cutters (HMCC) which consists of seven vessels.

HMCC "Seeker" cost more than 4m to build and has advanced tracking, navigation and surveillance equipment.

David Hewer, head of Customs and Excise Maritime Branch, said: "Our new vessel is designed to combat smuggling and enforce Customs control at the frontiers.

Sophisticated ship

"She is one of a highly successful class of fast patrol craft and boasts sophisticated navigation, surveillance and communications equipment."

HMCC Seeker and her sister ship - HMCC Searcher, who is to follow soon - will replace 20-year-old vessels which are being put up for sale.

The cutter is the first vessel to be built for Customs and Excise by Damen Shipyards, Holland, in the 42-metre class.

HMCC Seeker is a development of the earlier Damen Stan Patrol 4100 produced for the Netherlands, Antilles and Aruba Coastguard under contract from the Royal Netherlands Navy.

The cutters operate in British and international waters.

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