Cheetah Sea Shepherd

Cheetah Marine have delivered the second of two new catamaransto the Environment Agency. 8.5m Solway Shepherd replaces two workboats as partof the EA’s efficiency measures to reduce the overall number of vessels in thefleet.

Solway Shepherd will be operating out of Whitehaven and willcover an area that includes the Solway Firth and the North Cumbrian coastline.

As a multi-role workboat her principle duty is fisheries patroland enforcement. The Cheetah is fitted with a complete net hauler system toenable the checking and if necessary seizing of illegal fishing gear. She willalso take on various survey roles including water sampling and environmentalmonitoring.

The 8.5m has the full width long style wheelhouse with an offsetport side cab. A Spencer Carter Solo net hauler and winch system is fitted tothe starboard side with protection offered from the full width screen whilsthauling. Cheetah Marine fabricate all stainless steel work in house, to suiteach individual vessel and application. The large aft deck features an overheadcentral 50mm stainless steel bar fitted from the wheelhouse overhang to thestern. Nets on the deck can be flaked over the bar before being shot outbetween the engines on the removable net shoot.

Solway Shepherd is coded to the Small Commercial Vessels Code ofPractice, MCA Category 3 for four persons onboard and features the fullcomplement of safety kit and life raft. An array of flood lights fitted on the wheelhouse roof enable fullequipment use at night to further maximize the working efficiency of thevessel. Cheetah Marine recommends and have installed the NSS12 Simrad Touchscreenelectronics package which includes radar, chart plotter and fish finder.

Rob Baker, Environment Agency comments

‘The EA are ensuring that any new vessels are fit for purpose aswell as providing the best levels of safety, performance and value for moneyavailable within the particular capability requirement for that vessel. Werequired a vessel that was fast, stable, shallow drafted and able to lift andcarry heavy nets as well as being safe and comfortable at sea. The Cheetah 8.5fits the bill perfectly.

Our initial impressions are that she handles extremely well witha fine turn of speed and quick responses to course alterations. The Cheetahprovides an excellent stable platform for carrying out duties as well asproviding a standard of welfare appropriate to the working area and conditions.’

Solway Shepherd and any other future vessels going into the EAfleet will be owned and managed by Briggs Marine on behalf of the EnvironmentAgency. Cheetah Marine currently have a full workshop with future deliveriesincluding a 6.9m Police Search and Rescue Boat and a 7.9m Harbour PatrolVessel.

Many thanks for all your efforts in getting Solway Shepherd and the Three Rivers on the water. I'm confident that they will prove to be excellent additions to our fleet.

- Rob Baker, Environment Agency

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