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Catamaran launch

PUBLISHED: 18:13 30 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:58 23 August 2010

LAUNCH: Angela Smith MP names the Galloper.

LAUNCH: Angela Smith MP names the Galloper.

A £115,000 catamaran that will chart the River Thames, has gone into official service with the Port of London Authority after a naming ceremony. Galloper, which replaces a 10-year-old service boat called Brent, was officially named by Basildon MP Angela

A £115,000 catamaran that will chart the River Thames, has gone into official service with the Port of London Authority after a naming ceremony.

Galloper, which replaces a 10-year-old service boat called Brent, was officially named by Basildon MP Angela Smith at the PLA headquarters on Royal Pier Road last Wednesday.

The 7.9 metre vessel is fitted with £200,000 worth of equipment, including mutlibeam echo sounders which will measure the depth and shape of the river bed.

It will work alongside sister vessels Verifier and Yantlet, and will cover the tidal Thames between Teddington and the North Sea.

Angela Smith, whose constituency is on the north bank of the Thames in Essex, said: "The Thames is becoming even more important to the economy of this country, and when you have 30,000 vessels a year using the river, safety is ever more important and Galloper will help to do that.

"It is a state-of-the art vessel that will provide crucial research and is a great investment for the future."

The catamaran was made by Isle of Wight company Che-etah Marine, and is powered by twin Honda 135hp outboard motors, giving it a maximum speed of 28 knots.

Because of its size it will give surveyors access to parts of the river which are too shallow for larger craft to reach.

The hulls and a low centre of gravity also make it a very stable working platform.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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