Four of the last five 770-ton River-class steel-hulled minesweepers remaining in British Royal Navy service were converted in 1994 for duties as patrol vessels in Northern Ireland waters. Portable sweep gear and winches were removed and replaced with davits to handle two rigid-inflatable inspection boats. The quartet—the Itchen , Blackwater , Arun , and Spey —now have been sold to Brazil, which has altered its original plan to use two as survey ships and two as buoy tenders and is instead commissioning them as seagoing patrol ships to replace the declining numbers in its Imperial Marinheiro class. The renamed Bracui (ex- Itchen ), seen here en route to Brazil in May, retains the old 40-mm Mk 3 Bofors gun forward, distinguishing her from three other Rivers bought earlier by Brazil and now used for auxiliary duties. The other three destined for patrol service are being renamed Bocaina , Benevente , and Babitonga , names once borne by U.S. destroyer escorts transferred to Brazil during World War II.