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Metal Shark Boats adds jobs for Coast Guard order

Metal Shark Boats LLC will make a $1.9 million capital investment to complete a contract to build 500 response boat-small patrol vessels for the Coast Guard during the next seven years.

The Jeanerette, La.-based builder will produce the second generation of a 29-foot-long boat that has a top speed in excess of 50 mph, according to a report in www.the advertiser.com in Lafayette, La. The boats will be used for port, waterway and coastal security; search and rescue missions; drug interdiction cases; immigration-related operations; fisheries enforcement; and defense readiness and law enforcement missions.

Metal Shark’s project will create 106 new jobs with an average starting salary of about $45,000, plus benefits, and the project will retain 75 existing jobs and result in an estimated 164 indirect jobs.

Metal Shark won a $192 million Coast Guard contract in November to build the response boat-small, a type of watercraft the Coast Guard adopted in response to its broader homeland security mission after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Once the expansion is completed and full production is achieved, the facility will produce one boat every four or five days. The company also is building boat classes for the Coast Guard, Navy, local law enforcement agencies and foreign militaries.

Metal Shark was established in 2005 by Gravois Aluminum Boats LLC.

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