|Port of registry:|
|Builder:||de Groot & van Vliet, Slikkerveer, Netherlands|
|Launched:||17 February 1962|
|Completed:||29 March 1962|
|Out of service:||2014|
|Fate:||Put up for auction, June 2014|
|Type:||General cargo ship|
|Beam:||7.75 m (25 ft 5 in)|
|Draught:||2.82 m (9 ft 3 in)|
|Speed:||11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph)|
MV Altea is a ship used for training purposes by the United Kingdom's HM Customs and Excise National Deep Rummage Team. It was first acquired by the government after being impounded in 1989 for being used in an attempt to smuggle 17 tonnes of cannabis into the United Kingdom. In 1991 it was towed to Liverpool. It has since been sold by auction, and is currently moored at Newnham-on-Severn pending sale to an unknown Caribbean carrier.
The ship was built by de Groot & van Viet at Slikkerveer in 1962 as the Westland Producer for the Westland Scheepvaart Mij., registered in Naaldwijk, and used as a general cargo vessel operating between England and the Netherlands. In 1967 the vessel was rebuilt for the transport of vegetable containers by de Groot & van Viet, and lengthened from 49.9 m (163 ft 9 in) to 56.86 m (186 ft 7 in). She was sold to Gerrit de Vries in 1972, renamed Vita Nova, and registered in Panama City, Panama. In 1987 she was sold to Ch. O. de Leeuw, renamed Moby Dick, registered in Den Helder, Netherlands, and converted for recreational and sports purposes. In 1989 she was sold to the Opinia Shipping Company, who renamed her Altea, and was registered in San Lorenzo, Honduras. In October 1989 Altea was stopped and searched in the English Channel, and 17 tonnes of cannabis was found aboard. The ship was impounded by HM Customs and Excise and taken to Dover. In 1990 Altea was sailed to Rochester where she became a training ship for the Customs service, and used to train officers in searching for contraband. In 1991 the vessel was towed to Liverpool and continued to be used as a training vessel at Huskisson Dock for the Border Forces "National Deep Rummage Team (NDRT)". In June 2014 the ship was put up for auction.
- Moss, Alex (28 December 2012). "Drug rummage team's 'hide and seek' work on ships". BBC News. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- Down, Richard (1 July 2009). "Bootle is at the heart of the war on smuggler gangs". Liverpool Daily Post. Archived from the original on 2009. Retrieved 25 September 2014.
- "Unreserved Government Auction of MV Altea" (PDF). Wilsons Auctions. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- "Vita Nova - IMO 5388512". shipspotting.com. 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
- "Westland Producer – 1962 – IMO 5388512". 7seasvessels.com. 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.