SA navy battleships on patrol, at the ready to detect any hint of a threat

2010-06-24 00:00

THE SA Navy is combat-ready for any eventuality during the Fifa 2010 World Cup.

The country’s Meko class frigates, the SAS Amatola and the SAS Spioenkop, mine hunter the SAS Umkomaas and off-shore patrol vessel the SAS Galeshewe have been deployed to Durban.

In addition, the SA Navy’s hydrographic survey vessel, the SAS Protea, is equipped with a shallow water route survey system.

The survey system aims to detect underwater explosive devices, such as sea mines, which could endanger the safety of visiting and local passenger liners.

The shallow water route survey system has been implemented in three World Cup host cities, Durban, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth, to pick up any hint of a threat to the tournament well in advance.

Defence Minister Lindiwe Sisulu has urged all members of the South African National Defence Force to heighten security around bases and units during the hosting of the tournament.

Flag Officer Fleet Rear-Admiral Rusty Higgs said: “We are bound by the Constitution to defend South Africa, and ensuring the safety and security of our coastal areas during the World Cup and beyond is part of our duty.

“We will be able to detect any threatening devices below the sea, and at each spot there will be navy and police divers who will be at the ready to execute the necessary instructions.”

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