US Military Vessel on Goodwill Mission to Haiti – Bajan Reporter safe & sound after prank, Navy experiments with Tasmanian drafted wave-piercing catamaran
First of all, I was not pelted in the brig nor clapped in irons, okay? I saw the two Security detail for the vessel that day when the Port’s Day Campers were about to disembark and then I got a wicked idea for the tour’s finale which seemed hilarious – can you not see my face is in “mock” horror? One guy thinks I’m being silly while the other wants to share in on the joke… Americans call this a “photobomb” I think?
In reality, the exploration of the vessel was very capably done by Officers Jones & Mulligan who separated the Day Campers in two groups for ease of maneuverability. This catamaran actually started as a passenger ship in 2003 and was forged at the island of Tasmania off of Australia.
The bits of evidence to support that were the airline type seats in the aft of the ship and the fact the stairs were not so steep as most UK or USA military seafarers, apart from loads of carpeting which they constantly have to clean from odours as the crew venture in all types of terrain and in all weathers.
While the Marines on board were busy holding seminars, we got to view the innards of HSV Swift, its maximum speed with no cargo is about 42 knots but the average speed is 25 knots and even that is jarring for the most seasoned veteran on board the boat! The wave piercing is for travel and does not bear in mind the 80 to 90 humans on board.
One of the Swift‘s other purposes during its stay to the end of August is to send much needed equipment to Haiti including medical gear like wheelchairs via the Navy’s Handclasp program.
They will also train Coast Guard here how to use the dinghy wave cutters you may see while taking an island cruise on the Harbour Master, the local teams are making sure no fights broke out on board – but they had to learn how to steer same as to learn how to drive cars and the Swift’s personnel are instructors.
The ship is made of aluminum and therefore not hardcore military status, what the Navy will possibly do if they use wave-piercers is to construct them with titanium or tungsten-carbide hulls. However, don’t think the Swift is without teeth – they have two Browning machine guns with .50 caliber bullets!
The most action the vessel sees is once when a fishing vessel came close and they fired a flare as a warning shot for the smaller boat to cease its unauthorised observation.
The kids were really fascinated by the ship and were sorry to leave when we circled the ship which is actually very compact, that’s why the tour was short.
It was fun learning that Mulligan doubles as the ship’s legal officer and also does security detail while Officer Jones adores Rihanna and likes to watch True Blood! A great time was had by all for sure!