Two speedy boats ready to patrol the Pacific

Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública/Paul Gamboa The two new patrol boats.

The Servicio Nacional de Guardacostas is putting into service two $200,000 patrol boats that are supposed to be capable of speeds up to 93 kph (about 58 mph). They have three 200-horsepower motors, and are designed to be interceptors.

The boats were presented over the weekend in Puntarenas. Each is 11.5 meters (about 38 feet) and can carry four persons.

The security ministry to which the coast guard agency is attached, said the boats would be used for fighting illegal fishing and drug trafficking.

Colombian drug smugglers typically use similar open boats with three outboard motors. They are capable of high speed and usually are first intercepted by helicopters.

The Guardacostas also received a catamaran donated by Mar Viva, the environmental group. It will be used to patrol the area around Isla de Coco.

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