Police Launch “Deodar 2”

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Specification Summary

Length: 14.7m
Customer: New Zealand Police – Wharf Police Unit
Date: 1992
Industry: Police
Purpose: Maritime policing, safety and rescue
Operation: Coastal Waters, Hauraki Gulf
Material: Aluminium

The below article, published in the New Zealand Herald in 2001, gives some retrospective customer perspective on the project, from the head of the Wharf Police at the time of the project.

NZ Herald, Sept 22, 2001

Retired maritime police officer Lloyd McIntosh has found his sea legs again, writes ROBIN BAILEY. After 40 years at sea, 30 of them with what is now the Police Maritime Unit, Sergeant Lloyd McIntosh has come ashore. One of the biggest challenges was his last: preparing for and supervising the on-the-water police activity during the America’s Cup defence. That this huge event was handled without major incident is largely a credit to the planing and networking abilities of McIntosh and his team. They decided on the type of ready-response craft the police would need, supervised the design and construction of 11 high-speed RIBs and trained the crew to operate them. When that assignment ended, McIntosh decided it was time for him to hand the baton to his 2IC, Martin Paget, and take a break.

He has now joined the Spirit of Adventure Trust as bosun of the sail training ship Spirit of New Zealand. Reflecting on his career, McIntosh says: “I went from the Navy to the police, always with the intention of joining the marine team. And I was lucky. Usually it would have meant a longish stint ashore before the opportunity would arise to get onto the water. “I was stationed at Takapuna doing beat-type duties when another ex-Navy colleague was offered a place on the police launch. He wanted to be a dog-handler and suggested I could well be interested. I leapt at the chance. “That was in March 1971 and I became part of the launch section working as a unit of the Wharf Police. My first boss was Fred Rogers, then Ian Clarke took over. I eventually became his deputy, then replaced him in 1989.”

After only a few months in the top job McIntosh faced his first big test. On November 11 the police launch Deodar was crushed at her berth by a Japanese freighter and written off. Never the ideal craft for the job, Deodar was regarded from the day she was launched as a 1940s design built in 1960. Seaworthy but slow, she never really had the legs for the job. At that time, some people in the police force were not convinced of the need for a seagoing arm. This perception, and the need to decide on a suitable replacement, called for diplomacy on the part of the incumbent maritime unit commander. While the discussion continued, some Aucklanders formed the Deodar Trust and began raising money for a replacement. Some big names were involved, many of them able to exert political pressure.

Eventually, a design for a boat that would last 30 years was commissioned but the vessel’s $3 million price tag proved too much for the politicians and McIntosh received a call from then Police Minister John Banks seeking a less costly solution. The seagoing sergeant then asked a question that should have been put much earlier: How much money do we have? Told the budget was $1 million, he assured the minister the job could be done and proceeded to make good on his promise. McMullen and Wing built Deodar II with Dunsford Marine handling the design changes from the $3 million version and with Lloyd McIntosh acting as project manager. The replacement was launched just under budget and on time. Meanwhile, a standard Mark II Salthouse Corsair had been built in just 15 weeks to handle the police launch role while the new Deodar was under construction. McIntosh says this standard 36-foot production boat with some modifications carried out the job excellently.

Other McIntosh milestones were the 1985 sinking of the Rainbow Warrior, New Zealand’s first experience of international terrorism, and the opening of the Marine Rescue Centre at Mechanics Bay in 1991. McIntosh remained there until the successful completion of the America’s Cup assignment and retirement after 32 years with the police. “After I had managed a few months’ leave I decided I needed something else to keep me occupied,” he says. “By chance I saw an ad for a job with the Spirit of Adventure Trust as bosun of the sail training ship Spirit of New Zealand. I knew a bit about the trust from my work on the harbour. But it wasn’t until I got the job and started work here that I realised just how much is achieved and what an important role the trust plays in youth development.

“I’m really the ship’s shore manager. I look after everything that goes on board from the last sausage and loaf of bread to maintenance materials. Just keeping things running smoothly – and the team here has been doing that for so long most of the hassles have been sorted out years ago. My input comes from the experience I’ve accumulated in 40 years at sea.