Belgian Navy's Castor class patrol vessel seizes 210 kilos cocaine

According to information published by the Belgian MoD on October 11, 2023, while supporting the Federal Judicial Police, a Belgian naval coastal patrol vessel intercepted 210 kilos of cocaine in Belgium's exclusive economic zone.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 210 kilos of cocaine seized by the Belgian Navy. (Picture source: Belgian MoD)

The seized drugs have an estimated street value of over 11.5 million euros. The Federal Judicial Police have launched an investigation into the discovery, in collaboration with the Navigation Police.

The Marine Castor and Pollux coastal patrol vessels are responsible for monitoring the waters of the North Sea under Belgian jurisdiction. They work in cooperation with the federal police, customs, and other partners of the Belgian Coast Guard.

In addition to state security-related missions, these vessels also conduct fishery inspections, maritime pollution checks, and sea rescue operations. A patrol vessel is always on standby, ready to deploy 24/7, 365 days a year.

Technical data

With a displacement of 455 tons when fully loaded, the vessel measures 53.50 meters in length and has a beam of 9.50 meters. Her draught is 3.19 meters, allowing for navigation in various water depths.

She is powered by two MTU diesel engines, each producing 2,880 kW or 3,860 hp. This enables the Castor class to reach speeds of up to 21 knots, which translates to 39 km/h or 24 mph.

The patrol vessel is equipped to carry two Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), which can be used for various maritime tasks. To operate and maintain the vessel, she houses a crew of 15 members.

Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Castor class patrol vessel BNS Castor. (Picture source: Belgian MoD)