China’s newest and largest offshore patrol vessel
The Haixun 01 was commissioned into service by the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) in a ceremony in Shanghai on 16 April 2013. With a length of 128.6 meters and a tonnage of 5,418 tonnes, it is the largest offshore patrol vessel in the MSA’s fleet. At a cruising speed of 20 knots, the vessel has a maximum sailing distance of 10,000 nautical miles without refueling. It is designed to accommodate up to 200 people rescued at sea. It carries no mounted offensive weapons, but is equipped with two high-pressure water cannons that can spray a water column up to 150 meters. The Director General of the Shanghai Maritime Bureau, which manages the Haixun 01, noted that the water cannons are mainly used for fire-fighting, but that in accordance with international conventions, when a public service vessel is interfered with or under emergency cases, water cannons are needed to drive away ships that illegally enter the territorial waters of China. It also carries high-powered sonic devices. The Haixun 01 is fitted with equipment to offer basic treatment and surgery to injured persons, has a helipad and a helicopter, and towing gear. It was launched in July 2012 at the Wuchang shipyard in Wuhan. On 22-28 June 2013, the Haixun 01 made a courtesy call in Sydney, Australia where its crew participated in a desktop search and rescue exercise with personnel from the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). It then transited to Cairns, Australia on a visit timed to coincide with the meeting there of the Asia-Pacific Heads of Maritime Safety Agencies. Following that port call, the ship will visit Indonesia, Myanmar, and Malaysia before returning to its homeport of Shanghai on 9 August. The Haixun 01 is tasked with maritime law enforcement missions, including marine inspection and safety monitoring, as well as maritime search and rescue, marine firefighting, pollution response, maritime traffic management, and safeguarding the nation’s sovereignty. In addition to the Haixun 01, the MSA operates three smaller offshore patrol vessels.