Kenya launches Coast Guard, commissions OPV MV Doria


Kenya loses around $100 million a year to illegal fishing.

President Uhuru Kenyatta


During a groundbreaking ceremony held on 19 November, the President of Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta officially launched the new Kenya Coast Guard Service (KCGS). The event witnessed the unveiling of the Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) Doria commissioned as its first vessel.

The new Kenyan Coast Guard (KCGS) is based at the Liwatoni Fisheries Complex in Mombasa, where the ceremony was held, the KCGS would protect the Kenyan coast from illegal fisheries, combat smuggling, defend the maritime ecosystem, enforce maritime safety and security, perform search and rescue and support ongoing military operations.

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MV Doria during commissioning by President Uhuru Kenyatte

The Kenya Coast Guard was established by The Coast Guard Service Act 2018, which was gazetted by interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi on 22 October 2018.

President Kenyatte Uhuru went on, stating that: “Kenya has great potential for growing the Blue Economy, which would immensely contribute to our GDP, as well as create more jobs. This can only be achieved if we put in the work, invest appropriately and fully harness our maritime resources.”

“the Coast Guard will ensure that our ocean will not be used for drug and human trafficking, and illegal fishing. It will guard against exploitation of our natural resources by foreign countries and ensure that no foreign vessel will steal our fish.

“I have directed the National Land Commission and the Department of Fisheries to ensure that all fish landing sites at the Coast, at Lake Victoria, and other areas across the country are recovered and secured by the end of the first quarter of 2019.”

The new Coast Guard will be headed by Brigadier Victor Naisho Loonena. Its personnel will be drawn from the police, army and intelligence services and civilian professionals seconded from the Public Service Commission.

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MV Doria

MV Doria Offshore Patrol Vessel

The OPV MV Doria was commissioned as the Kenya Coast Guard Service’s first ship at the Liwatoni Fisheries Complex in Mombasa on 19 November, it was built by Bangladesh’s Western Marine Shipyard (WMS)
after being ordered on 23 January 2014 by Denmark’s JGH Marine on Kenya’s behalf and handed over to Kenya’s Ministry of Fisheries, Livestock and Agriculture in August 2017.

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The vessel was wholly designed and developed by Icarus Marine in Cape Town. MV Doria’s keel was laid in August 2014, and the hull completed in December 2015.

MV Doria Specification

According to WMS, the vessel is 54.7 metres long, and displaces 350 tons empty. Cruising speed is 20-25 knots and top speed is 35 knots with a range 1 500 nautical miles and fuel consumption of 3.6 tons a day. The vessel has 12 crew and can take 60 passengers. A helicopter deck on the back of the vessel can accommodate a five ton helicopter.
It has three davits for launching boats.

MV Doria Role

The MV Doria vessel, which will be used to patrol Kenyan waters as the country steps up efforts in protecting, and effectively harnessing its maritime resources.

MV Doria Propulsion

The vessel is powered by three MTU engines driving two Servogear controllable pitch propellers and MJP waterjets. The propeller engines produce 4 000 kW of power and the waterjet engine 2 720 kW.

MV Doria Armament

It has been armed with a single 20 mm Oerlikon cannon.

Patrick Kenyette

Freelance journalist and Photographer, and regular African Military Blog contributor