Gorinchem, Netherlands. 21 June 2019. At a signing ceremony held at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) offices in Ankara, Turkey, Vladimer Gvilava, chief of mission IOM in Turkey, and Boran Bekbulat, Damen sales manager Turkey, signed a contract for the building and delivery of nine Damen SAR 1906 search and rescue boats for the Turkish Coast Guard Command.

Financed by the European Union, these 19-metre boats will be in addition to the six vessels of the same class ordered in 2016, which were delivered to Turkish Coast Guard Command the following year. The first two of the new order will be delivered in the summer of 2020 with the remaining seven due to come into service over the following 12 months. The state-of-the-art vessels will be built to the same specification as their predecessors with some additional fine tuning and will also be operated by the Turkish Coast Guard Command to support their ongoing migrant rescue operations.

The SAR 1906 has been developed by Damen in close cooperation with KNRM (Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution), TU Delft and maritime design bureau De Vries Lentsch, as a fast, harbour-based, all weather, self-righting rescue boat. The design has been further improved in close cooperation with the Turkish Coast Guard Team and modified for their specific operations. Turkish design office DzaynGate, located in TeknoPark in Pendik-Istanbul, also worked on the adaptations of the design for the new series.

The SAR 1906 has an aluminium hull and a composite wheelhouse. With its hull design based on Damen’s Axe Bow technology with certain adaptations to optimise it for rescue operations, it can achieve a top speed of more than 33 knots and has a range of 300nm at full load. The construction of the boats will take place at Damen’s Turkish yard, Damen Shipyards Antalya. Located in the Antalya Free Zone, the yard has accomplished some significant export figures since its establishment in 2013, having delivered to international customers more than 70 vessels ranging from 10-metre fast boats to 80-metre RoRo ferries. The yard currently has 360 local employees plus an average of 200 subcontractors working on-site at any time. The yard’s managing director, Auke van der Zee, who is notably the only foreigner amongst his Turkish colleagues, notes, “We kept our promises in delivering all the SAR 1906 boats for the first phase as quickly as possible in response to the need for ongoing migrant rescue operations, and we are dedicated to doing the same for this second phase.”

“We are so proud and glad to receive a continuation contract from our client,” added Damen’s Boran Bekbulat. “The cooperation among all the parties involved in the first phase was very successful. We are very excited to be teaming up again to make a new success story together.”