The keel has been laid for the new flagship of the controversial marine wildlife conservation organization, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, at Damen Shipyards Antalya in Turkey.
Sea Shepherd touts the vessel as their “dream ship”, capable of achieving speeds that “far exceed” any of the vessels in the organization’s fleet.
Sea Shepherd ordered the new ship earlier this year after winning 8.3 million euros in the postcode lotteries in the Netherlands. The vessel appears to be a modified Damen Fast Crew Supplier, a line of purpose-built vessels from Damen Group featuring the innovative Sea Axe hull form and known for their seakeeping and fuel efficiency.
The vessel will be customized for Sea Shepherd as an Antarctic Patrol Vessel, with a reinforced hull and hybrid propulsion system that will enable Sea Shepherd to chase poachers anywhere in the world for an extended period of time.
Sea Shepherd said earlier this year that the organization had researched possible shipbuilders for two years before choosing the Dutch shipbuilder Damen to design and build their ‘ideal ship’.
Sea Shepherd did not say specifically when the vessel is expected to be delivered, only that construction will take place over the next 12 months.
Check out the video of the keel laying ceremony below: