The British Island-class offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Orkney, decommissioned in May 1999, was sold to Trinidad and Tobago and had been recommissioned as the Nelson when this photo was taken in January. A month earlier, the Ministry of Defence released a request for bids for up to five replacements for its remaining Island-class units, which were completed in the late 1970s. Intended primarily for fisheries protection duties, the new OPVs may be leased from the builder rather than bought outright. The 200-foot, 1,280-ton Nelson displaces more than the rest of the modest Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard fleet combined and provides the country's first deep seagoing patrol capability. The former U.S. Coast Guard 82-foot Point-class cutters Point Bennett (WPB-82351) and Point Meyer (WPB-82369), transferred to Trinidad and Tobago on 12 February 1999 to become the Corozal Point and Crown Point, respectively, were joined by the former Point Bonita (WPB-82347) on 14 November 2000, and the Point Highland (WPB-82333) is due to transfer this July.
By A.D. Baker III, Editor, Combat Fleets of the World