Today the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton visited the Australian Border Force Cutter Cape Wessel in Fremantle to commend the success of Australian Border Force’s Marine Unit.
ABF Cutter Cape Wessel is the first ship to be launched under the Australian Border Force (ABF) flag and was officially named in a special ceremony this week.
“Cape Class Patrol Boats and the Marine Unit officers protect Australia’s national interests against maritime threats which include detecting illegal maritime arrivals,” Mr Dutton said.
“Operation Sovereign Borders (OSB) has restored the integrity of our borders, ensuring that illegal maritime arrivals do not reach Australia’s shores.”
“I applaud the work of the Joint Agency Task Force OSB in their commitment to combating people smuggling which has stopped vulnerable men, women and children dying at sea.”
Since December 2013, OSB has safely returned 587 potential illegal immigrants, aboard 19 ventures, to their countries of departure.
“We must remain vigilant and be alert that people smugglers will continue to test the strength of Australia’s borders.”
“The Cape Class is another example of how the Government continues to enhance capabilities in protecting the border. We are providing our elite officers with the best technology and tools available to meet any threats they are up against.”
The eighth and final Cape Class vessel will be operational by the end of the year.