June 04, Colombo: Australia Tuesday handed over the second of the two Bay Class patrol boats it gifted to Sri Lanka's Navy to prevent people smuggling in the Indian Ocean.
Commander of Sri Lanka Navy Vice Admiral Jayanath Colombage and Australian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Robyn Mudie at the Naval Headquarters on June 03 signed the deed to transfer the ownership of the vessel to Sri Lanka Navy.
The Navy Commander received the first Australian Bay Class patrol vessel at a ceremony held in Cairns, Australia on 29th March 2014.
The first boat arrived at the Port of Colombo on 24th April 2014 and it was named P 350.
Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbot while in Sri Lanka to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting last November announced that two Bay class patrol boats will be given to Sri Lanka to boost the efforts by the island's Navy to prevent people smuggling in the Indian Ocean.
The fully furbished Australian Bay-class patrol vessels are expected to substantially augment the Navy's capacity as they can cover a large area of the Indian Ocean and serve Sri Lanka's Search and Rescue Area more effectively.
Director General of Operations Rear Admiral Neil Rosayro, Director Naval Project and Planning, Commodore Samantha Wimalathunge and Ms. Sue Knight of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service were also present on the occasion.