The Seychelles Coast Guard on Tuesday sold one of its long-serving patrol ships, the Andromache, in an auction held on the Seychelles People’s Defence Forces (SPDF) compound.
A local businessman, Roy Dinan, bought the vessel for SCR320,000 ($21,500).
“The price I got it for is a good one and I am very happy with the way the bidding turned out,” said Dinan.
Built in Italy in 1982, the 42-metre Andromache was one of the patrol vessels actively involved in the fight against maritime piracy in the region between 2008 and 2012. It was the first vessel that Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, had entirely financed. PS Andromache had a major refit in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, in 2014.
The Ministry of Finance Trade and Economic Planning, which is behind the public auction, said the vessel is valued at SCR 1 million ($62,105).
According to Lieutenant Colonel Jean Attala from the Seychelles Coast Guard, such vessels have a certain lifespan and this one had to be decommissioned as “it had become uneconomical to run and we have newer vessels that we plan to add on to our fleet.”
Attala said the vessel had become uneconomical to run. (Rassin Vannier, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
Dinan told SNA that he does not consider his new possession as a military boat and that there “are so many options now that I have the vessel. It could be either be sold for scraps, you can turn it into a restaurant, a mobile recording studio and a lot can be done with it, there is no limit.”
He added that whatever plans to convert Andromache into something else that “will depend on what the authorities have to say about it as well. Because with a naval boat like this, you have to be careful of what you are doing, consult the authorities, you cannot just go along with your own ideas.”
The proceeds collected from the sale of Andromache will be used in the government’s budget next year.