Boaters in the Thunder Bay area can expect to see a new patrol vessel churning through the water over the next several days as Canadian Coast Guard ship Constable Carrière has arrived to conduct patrols on Lake Superior.

The vessel also carries RCMP officers as part of the joint Coast Guard and RCMP Marine Security Enforcement Team.

The ship is one of the new class of mid-shore patrol vessels that conduct maritime security missions on the Great Lakes and on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. They are bigger and faster than older vessels, and can operate up to 120 nautical miles offshore.

The Coast Guard describes the ships as the primary platform for the joint enforcement team on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence Seaway. The program's mission is to enhance national security, respond to potential threats, and deal with federal on-water enforcement requirements.

The 43-metre long Constable Carrière will have been working in the Thunder Bay area for about a week by the time it leaves Friday.

The vessel is named after Constable JL Francois Carrière, an RCMP officer who died in 1997 while conducting an underwater search of a vessel believed to be smuggling illegal drugs.