Trieste 19 December 2012 - The first of two multi-purpose vessels commissioned from Fincantieri by the General Command of the Port Authority Corp for the Italian Coast Guard, Luigi Dattilo, was launched today at Castellammare di Stabia (Naples).
The ceremony was attended, amongst others, by Chief Inspector Admiral Francesco Lo Sardo, Deputy Commanding General of the Port Authority Corps, Rear Admiral Franco G. Persenda, Head of the Coast Guard’s IVth Division, and Captain Clement Costigliola, representing the Commander in Chief of the Naval Department for the Ionian Sea and Strait of Otranto (Taranto), while in attendance for Fincantieri were Angelo Fusco, Executive Senior Vice President Naval Vessels Italy, and Vincenzo Taormina, Manager of the Castellammare di Stabia shipyard. The ceremony was also attended by representatives from the Registro Italiano Navale (RINA - Italy's ship classification society).
The godmother of the ceremony to launch the ship, due to be delivered to the Coast Guard next spring, was Mrs. Carlotta Dattilo (daughter of Port Lieutenant Colonel Luigi Dattilo, navy silver medal of honour, who was represented on this occasion by her grandchildren, Massimo Dattilo and Carla Di Marcantonio.
These ships are designed to operate in open seas in particularly bad marine weather conditions and will be used for search and rescue, anti-pollution and fire-fighting missions and to control illegal immigration. They will also be able to perform complex naval missions for central command. With a length of 94 metres and 16-metre beam, they will be able to reach a top speed of about 18 knots with a range of more than 3,000 miles, and will have a full load displacement of some 3,600 tons. They will be able to accommodate a crew of 38, with room to board 12 additional technicians and 60 shipwreck survivors.
They will also be equipped with four fast rigid-hulled inflatable boats with speeds of up to 35 knots for use in different types of mission and emergency response. Lastly, they will have a landing pad for AB212 or AW139 helicopters.
The ships are also equipped with sophisticated command and control systems and latest-generation radar able to find and follow surface marine pollution and they will have a large stern door to let vehicles enter and be transported on a large working deck.
The real forte of these patrol boats is their innovative hybrid propulsion system, involving an auxiliary diesel-electric engine for use at the low and very low speeds needed when performing surveillance and control missions for long periods, otherwise impossible with traditional propulsion.
The ships will meet the most advanced standards certified by the Registro Italiano Navale (RINA or Italy's ship classification society) and by the technical team of the General Command of the Port Authority Corps.
Lieutenant Colonel Luigi Dattilo was born in Castellammare di Stabia (Naples) on 18 November 1883.
After completing his education in classics, he joined Italy's light infantry, serving as an officer for two years.
In 1904 he enlisted in the Port Authority Corps. Although master of the port of Lampedusa, during the First World War he served on ships for Italy's Maritime Armed Forces and Britain's Royal Navy.
During the fighting, he was torpedoed several times, always demonstrating the very highest professionalism and devotion to his country.
After the war he served in various Port Authorities, including Brindisi, Catania, Castellammare di Stabia, Lampedusa, Porto Empedocle, Taranto and Reggio Calabria (where he held the position of Maritime Director).
As a member of the auxiliary service from January 1930, Luigi Dattilo continued to follow his ideals of self-sacrifice for his country and readiness to serve others.
He is still remembered as a teacher of navigation at training courses for the unemployed, held in the early 1950s in Pizzo Calabro, where he died on 25 January 1963.