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Boaties' birthday bash!

A family stops for a photo aboard a racey-looking launch

The champagne corks flew recently as Marine Region's Small Boat Unit celebrated its 20th birthday.

November 6 saw the gathering of a host of past and present SBU officers of all ranks, along with a few unit "wannabes" and an assortment of special guests at a celebration held at Marine West Division in Tai Lam, close to the SBU base.

Many officers also brought family members with budding little coxswains and launch mechanics getting their photos taken aboard the Unit's racey-looking vessels under clear autumn skies.

Marine Regional Commander Foo Tsun-kong and Deputy Regional Commander Ng Chee-kin were on hand to cut the roast pig for the 'Paai Kwan Tei'.
Senior Superintendent Marine Operations Chu Wing-hong, Small Boat Division Superintendent Dominique Ziemann and SBU Officer-in-Charge, Chief Inspector Lai Yuk-wah were also on hand to assist in the ceremony.

The birthday cake came out next before a brief address by Mr Ziemann, followed by entertainment from television personalities Ng Kong, Lo Chun-shun and Lo Hing-fai.

Lucky draws, souvenir presentations, singing, drinking and plenty of eating saw a fun afternoon.

SBU was established in 1979 to help counter illegal immigration via Deep Bay, and has since grown to provide operational assistance Region-wide for illegal immigration, smuggling and other crime, along with search and rescue, and vessel control duties.

The Unit's fleet has also grown, taking on a variety of vessels such as 'Shark Cat' and 'Typhoon'-type inflatable boats. The present eight Fast Pursuit Craft have been in operation since 1997 and are capable of speeds of up to 50 knots.

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