Damen has signed a contract with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ankara, Turkey, for the supply of six 63.30'x21.48'x6.26' Search and Rescue (SAR) vessels for delivery in 2017. The boats, which have a draft of 3.61', are being financed by the European Union and will be operated by the Turkish Coastguard (TURCG), to support refugees and migrants rescue operations.

The Damen SAR 1906 is a state-of-the-art SAR craft and is the result of a five-year research and development program initiated by Damen in partnership with the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM), Delft University of Technology and De Vries Lentsch Naval Architects. The SAR 1906 is an all-weather, self-righting vessel with an aluminium hull and a composite wheelhouse. The hull design is based on Damen’s Axe Bow technology, adapted for the specific operations of rescue boats. It has a top speed of 33+ knots.

The boats will be powered by pairs of MTU 8V2000 M84L diesel engines, producing a total of 2,400 hp at 2,450 rpm. The mains will connect to twin HamiltonJet 570 waterjets through ZF 2000 marine gears. The vessels will have a bollard pull of 7 tons. In the wheelhouse will be a Raymarine electronics suite featuring C120 series radar, GPS, chart plotter and echo sounder.

“These boats will be built in Turkey for Turkey,” said Damen’s Boran Bekbulat. “They will be built at Damen’s Turkish Shipyard in Antalya (DSA) where we have all the facilities necessary to fabricate both the composite superstructures and the aluminium hulls. Damen and its SAR 1906 were selected to fulfil the Turkish Coastguard’s need for new SAR vessels based on its innovative design and its ability to deliver them within a short time frame. We already had vessels under construction in our production line which allows us to deliver the first two boats in the first half of 2017. Moreover, our people in Antalya are committed to beating the challenging delivery times, realizing the importance of the SAR boats’ mission. Having a good cooperation with all involved parties in the lead of IOM, we are all proud of taking a part in the EU’s project for TURCG. The fact that they will be built in a Turkish shipyard — Damen Shipyards Antalya — and that Damen is very much committed to the country were also positive factors.”

The vessels will be deployed by the Turkish Coast Guard along Turkey’s coast line, giving assistance to refugees and migrants fleeing nearby conflict zones. Although relatively compact, the 63' SAR 1906 can carry up to 120 survivors.

The delivery schedule calls for the first vessel to be delivered within 12 months of the contract signing; however, DSA plans to beat that by delivering the first in May next year and the second the following month. All six will be commissioned by the end of 2017.


Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.