China launches its largest patrol vessel

July 28, 2012 at 5:39 PM

WUHAN, China, July 28 (UPI) -- China launched its largest and most state-of-the-art patrol and rescue ship Saturday in the city of Wuhan, officials said.

Haixun01 is China's first vessel to be used for both marine inspection and rescue functions, China's official Xinhua news agency reported.

It will be used primarily for maritime inspection, safety monitoring, rescue and oil spill detection and handling, said Xu Guoyi, head of the company that will manage the ship, Shanghai Maritime Bureau. Haixun01 will be put into service by the end of this year.

Tang Gongjie, general manager of Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Co. Ltd., the builder of the ship, said the 5,418-ton vessel is about 421 feet long, has a speed of up to 22 mph and can go 10,000 nautical miles before needing to refuel.

The ship is equipped with devices to offer basic medical treatment and surgeries, as well as a helipad, so it will be able to conduct search-and-rescue missions by air.

Huang He, deputy head of the maritime bureau of the Transport Ministry, said the ship will be instrumental in maintaining China's maritime safety.

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