Maritime News

BourbonlogoBOURBON celebrates delivery of the 500th vessel, placing the group at the head of the world's largest fleet of vessels operated1 for the offshore marine services industry

BOURBON announces the entry into service of the 500th vessel - the Bourbon Evolution 806, the 6th vessel of the 1st series of IMR2 vessels for the offshore industry. BOURBON thus ranks among the world's leading groups for the offshore marine services industry.

This delivery validates BOURBON's strategic decision to focus on achieving economies of scale through standardization and construction in series, thus offering its customers a reliable innovative fleet with optimized service quality: ""We are delighted with the delivery of this 500th vessel, which reflects our commitment to provide the means to continue our development and to best serve the needs of our clients. We are now realizing the fruits of seeds sown over several years when we invested in a series of standardized vessels to achieve a global leadership position in our market."" asserts Gael Bodénès, Chief Operating Officer.

With a fleet of 500 vessels averaging 6.3 years of age, BOURBON operates worldwide with over 11,000 employees providing local services through 28 operating affiliates who ensure commercial and contractual relationships, as well as local technical support on-site, close to operations. By year-end 2015, the delivery of the 34 vessels under construction will make the fleet even larger and better able to serve the most demanding customers.

BOURBON'S standardization policy is best illustrated by the success of its series of vessels:

The Bourbon Liberty series: By the end of 2014, the fleet will include 111 next-generation Bourbon Liberty vessels offering high standards of quality and performance. They have a prove client track record, thanks to their embedded technologies such as the class 2 dynamic
positioning system, backup equipment, cargo capacity and the optimization of fuel consumption.

The Bourbon Evolution 800 series: With the delivery of the 500th vessel, BOURBON currently has 6 Bourbon Evolution vessels in operation (and 4 more under construction) in this 1st series of IMR vessels positioned within the deepwater offshore market. With a class 3 dynamic positioning system, these highly reliable vessels have outstanding maneuverability and their backup equipment guarantees optimum safety.

The seismic support vessel series: BOURBON has pioneered the 1st series of 6 seismic support vessels, custom designed for CGG that allows the provisioning of fuel, equipment and personnel to seismic vessels ensuring the safety of their operations. 4 vessels are already fully operational.

The Bourbon Explorer 500 series: This is a new series of 20 PSV vessels launched in 2014, 4 of which are already in operation. Their cargo capacity is a real added value, as they have been optimized to supply modern drilling equipment with a large carrying capacity of slurry (drilling lubricant) of 1,500 m3. They can also carry up to 50 people, offering the customer additional accommodation capacity on the oil fields.

As part of its growth strategy, BOURBON not only focuses on construction in series, but also on centralizing maintenance and personnel's training via a structured industrial organization.

As part of its growth strategy, BOURBON not only focuses on construction in series, but also on centralizing maintenance and personnel's training via a structured industrial organization.

BOURBON Repair Centers: Pooling the fleet's technical support, carried out by the Group at the local level makes it possible to provide all subsidiaries with the necessary technical specialists and parts inventories, with 6 BOURBON Repair Centers deployed close to their operations.

Standard exchange: Thanks to its Plug & Play standard exchange system BOURBON is able to replace all of its propulsion units with new or reconditioned components, thus eliminating the need for the vessel to remain in the repair center. Standard replacements reduce repair time to the strict minimum.

BOURBON Training Centers: BOURBON's 15 Training Centers contribute to standardizing the company's worldwide training efforts for all crews. As the fleet becomes more and more standardized, specific training programs have been put together to perfectly meet the safety requirements and the quality of service provided to the customer.

The vessels standardization policy and centralization of maintenance allow BOURBON teams to ensure customers operational continuity as well as achieving high levels of technical availability of 94.5% in 2013.

1 Vessels owned or on bareboat charter
2 Inspection, Maintenance and Repair of subsea infrastructure

JamesFisherDefenseJames Fisher Defense, the leading global sub-sea operations and engineering company, has stated that navies around the world are now seriously addressing the need to re-develop their skills in the use of maritime warfare, specifically in relation to maritime Special Forces and strategies for operations and intelligence gathering. This is leading to new challenges in how sub-sea and surface systems are designed, manufactured and integrated.

JFD, which is exhibiting its new range of Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) at the Undersea Defense Technology conference in Liverpool, UK, believe there are a number of reasons for this changing dynamic. This includes the increasing reliance on good and accurate intelligence to enable successful missions despite reduced defense budgets; the fast-paced nature of today's threats and the need to launch intelligence operations at very short notice. As well as this, there is still a continued need for human intelligence gathering to complement the progression in satellite and overhead surveillance innovation.

Ben Sharples, Director, James Fisher Defense, said:

"In recent years there has been a shift to land-based conflicts, such as Afghanistan, as well as the war against terror. However, we are now seeing a significant change as navies look to reintegrate and develop their maritime Special Forces skills. In particular, in today's environment, threats happen quickly, which demands a rapid response in the gathering of accurate intelligence. In addition to this, with navies wanting to keep their physical assets as far away from conflict as possible, we are seeing a focus on surface and sub-surface delivery, which is leading to the development and integration of advanced swimmer delivery vehicles onto suitable submarines and other platforms."

However this change also presents challenges from a design, manufacture, implementation and training perspective. For example, it is critical to be able to get combat divers successfully through Lock in/Lock out (LiLo) systems. And with divers needing to operate at shallow depths to avoid decompression issues, the design of sub-sea systems is also being tested in terms of delivery capability and the rapid configuration that is required to suit a specific mission.

Sharples continued:

"What we're finding is that it is critical to be able to deliver a scalable solution that facilitates the inclusion of existing legacy systems, as well as allowing room for the development of new and emerging technologies and next generation systems. And importantly, there must be a phased integration, in conjunction with advanced training, so that systems can be increased in their sophistication as skill sets develop."

JFD, as one of the world's most experienced and innovative SDV providers, recently launched a new range of SDVs called The SEAL Pod; surface or sub-sea craft, which can be optimized for a particular deployment method or mission profile and can be provided in a number of configurations:

SEAL Carrier; surface and subsurface vehicle operating at speeds greater than 30 kts delivered by surface ship or air-drop.
Sub SEAL; six-man submersibles delivered via an attachment to the casing of a submarine
Torpedo SEAL; a two-man chariot delivered within a standard submarine torpedo tube

Advanced power system maximizes operational flexibility and safety for new generation vessels

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won contracts worth in excess of $20 million to supply electrical power and propulsion systems for two next generation offshore vessels.

The first vessel, of ULSTEIN SX165 design, is being constructed at Ulstein Verft in Norway for Island Ventures 11, the joint venture set up in 2012 by the leading US and Norwegian owners Edison Chouest Offshore and Island Offshore, whose advanced subsea service vessels provide high quality solutions to the offshore oil industry.


At 28 meters wide and 145.7 meters long, and with accommodation for 200 people, the SX165 will be the largest vessel constructed by Ulstein Verft and is due for delivery in Q3 2015. It is equipped with two cranes that can lift 400 tons and 140 tons respectively, and has three separate engine rooms to provide extreme operational reliability.
ABB is to supply an advanced complete power and diesel electric system package comprising medium voltage generators, switchboards, transformers, frequency converters and motors to provide reliable and fuel efficient propulsion. Health, safety and the environment have been a key focus in the design of the vessel and ABB's scope of supply reflects this through its advanced power system, which is capable of achieving the requirements needed to run the system in closed ring in DP3.

The second vessel, for Island Offshore, features the innovative Rolls-Royce UT 777 design for optimal subsea operations including top hole drilling, light well intervention, subsea construction and inspection, maintenance and repair work. ABB will supply an advanced complete power and diesel electric system package comprising medium voltage generators, switchboards including power management system, transformers, frequency converters and motors. ABB will also supply complete fire & gas monitoring and control systems for fire and gas detection.


ABB-RollRoyceRolls Royce UT 777

In addition, both power distribution and propulsion systems will be monitored by ABB's remote diagnostic system (RDS), which helps to reduce repair time of installations and improve operational safety when reducing the need for on-site visits by providing immediate 24/7 assistance from a global technical center. 

The second vessel will be constructed at Kawasaki Heavy Industries in Japan and delivery is scheduled for 2017.

"ABB's advanced power system and remote diagnostic system will maximize the operational flexibility and safety." said Heikki Soljama, head of ABB's Business Unit Marine and Cranes. "We look forward to cooperating in the projects and to delivering high quality services to these pioneering new ships."


ABSlogoABS Secures Prestigious FLNG Classification Contract

The PETRONAS facility is scheduled to start deepwater operations offshore Sabah, Malaysia, in 2018

ABS, a leading provider of classification and technical services to the global offshore industry, has been awarded the classification contract from PETRONAS, Malaysia's national oil company, for the company's second floating LNG facility (PFLNG 2). The vessel will be built at the Samsung Heavy Industries yard in Geoje, Korea.

"This is a very significant award for us," says ABS Chairman and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "It also is the natural next step for an organization that is widely recognized as the leader in the classification of offshore production units and LNG ships."

ABS has a long history working with floating gas concepts, classing the first offshore LPG storage unit in the world in 1997 and the first LPG FPSO in 2005. ABS has awarded approval in principle (AIP) for ten floating LNG concepts and has performed pre-front-end engineering and design (FEED) and FEED work on a number of others.

As the selected class society for the PFLNG 2 unit, ABS will provide a comprehensive suite of technical services, including classification.

PFLNG 2, which is scheduled to see first gas production in early 2018, will be moored via an external turret on the deepwater Rotan gas field offshore Sabah, Malaysia. Designed to produce 1.5 million metric tons of LNG per year, the vessel is expected to operate on site for a minimum of 20 years without dry docking.

ABS Vice President for Global Gas Solutions Patrick Janssens views this as the first of many potential awards.

"The search for new energy reserves is seeing exploration activities shift to the type of remote offshore fields on which facilities like the PFLNG 2 are perfectly suited to operate," Janssens says. "With the growing demand for gas around the world, there will be a continued emphasis on FLNG-related technology, and ABS will continue to play a leading role."

The award to class this FLNG newbuild comes just months after the unveiling of the ABS Global Gas Solutions team, a multidisciplinary group of engineers formed to respond to the rapidly escalating number of gas-related projects, including LNG and LPG transportation, the use of LNG and LPG as fuel and the growing number of FLNG projects.

There currently are more than 150 floating oil and gas facilities in the ABS-classed fleet, the largest single market share of any classification society.


Catepillar-AlpCaterpillar Marine is pleased to announce Cat® power and propulsion offerings have been selected to provide complete propulsion solutions for four ocean-going towing vessels designed by Ulstein Design and Solutions. Each vessel will have 4x 9 M 32 C propulsion engines, rated at 4500 bkW @ 600 rpm. Also onboard each vessel will be 3x Cat C32 auxiliary generator sets rated at 940 ekW @ 1800 rpm as well as 1x Cat C9 generator set to provide emergency power. All four vessels will be equipped with 2x AEM shaft generators rated at 3150 ekW @ 1200 rpm. Each vessel has two Cat BCP1330F main propellers, two BTT625 tunnel thrusters and two BTT419 tunnel thrusters. The MaK and Cat power and propulsion solutions will be delivered over the course of the next year.

Designed to tow large structures such as offshore drilling rigs, ULSTEIN SX157 design vessels offer a 300-ton bollard pull and are capable of operating at full loads for 45 days without refueling. The vessels will be constructed at the Niigata Shipyard in Japan. Cat dealer Pon Power led the Caterpillar efforts on the sale in conjunction with Cat Propulsion. Upon completion of construction the vessels will be owned and operated by ALP Maritime Services, which was recently acquired by Teekay Services.

"This remarkable project is a milestone achievement for Caterpillar Marine as it represents to the global marine industry what we are capable of as a comprehensive provider of not only power solutions but propulsion systems. Through our rigorous project management and close collaboration with Cat dealer Pon Power, we have been able to seamlessly work with Ulstein to equip the vessels with performance solutions you can only get from Caterpillar ," Alexander Kohse, Caterpillar Marine global offshore segment manager noted. "As a result of the synergies we offer amongst our power, propulsion and comprehensive service offerings, shipyards and operators can rely on Caterpillar for more than ever before."

Cat BCP controllable-pitch main propellers have been specifically designed and developed for heavy-duty applications with the pitch setting hydraulic servo cylinder in the hub. The hub lubrication system is a unique oil circulating system with an integrated moisture monitoring system. This is the first hub system in the shipbuilding industry where the moisture content is constantly checked, making it possible to protect the entire propeller system as well as the environment.

Cat tunnel thrusters feature a modular design with modern transmission layout and custom-designed blades to suit each individual application. The complete thruster can be mounted and dismounted in the tunnel (swing-in/swingout design) and can be driven by electric motor or diesel engine. Built to meet the demands of the major classification standards, the thrusters offer customers maximum reliability with minimum downtime and good serviceability.

Damen-RixLionUK-based Rix Sea Shuttle will shortly take delivery of their first ever Damen vessel – a Fast Crew Supplier 2610 – to support their growing involvement in the offshore crew transfer market.

The new vessel, the Rix Lion, is due for delivery on July 4th, just 6 weeks after signing the contract. "Our yards in Singapore and Vietnam build the FCS 2610 as a stock model," says Damen Sales Manager United Kingdom & Ireland Arjen van Elk. "As such, we can offer our clients very fast delivery times." This particular vessel was constructed at Damen Shipyards Singapore.

"We chose the Damen FCS 2610 because it is the best vessel on the market," says Rix Sea Shuttle Director James Doyle. "It is a vessel with an excellent reputation and our customers demand that." Rix Sea Shuttle requested the Rix Lion to have a number of adaptations. For example, a deck crane and modified railings on the fore deck increase the area available for equipment transfer. A second generator set and a high pressure cleaner have also been added. Finally, the new vessel will be painted 'Rix-green' to match the livery of the rest of the company's offshore crew transfer fleet.

The FCS 2610 offers a safe and stable platform for fast crew transfer combined with a large deck with equipment movement. The twin hulls reduce the slamming movements associated with fast transport at sea. "Offshore wind turbine technicians are typically non-mariners, so we aim to get them to work as comfortably and as safely as possible," explains Mr Van Elk. Onboard Wi-Fi provides further luxury. "Rix Sea Shuttle is a new client for us," continues Mr Van Elk. "They too are a family-owned company and we are very happy to have them onboard. We are looking forward to continuing an open and trusting relationship with them in the future."

"You can't fail to be impressed by Damen," continues Mr Doyle. "If you want a vessel delivered this season, instead of next year, then Damen is the choice."

Founded in 2012, Rix Sea Shuttle provides offshore personnel and equipment transfers as well as fuel bunkering and secure warehousing services at 16 UK locations. The company is part of the 140 year old, fifth generation JR Rix & Sons Group of companies and holds ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 accreditation standards.

drewry mr colNewbuild orders for Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) are picking up in expectation of rising demand but risk putting the sector's recovery at risk, according to Drewry's latest Tanker Forecaster report.

New ordering activity has accelerated in the VLCC segment, extending the upward trend of 2013. VLCC orders started picking up in 2013, when 26 units were ordered after the subdued contracting period of 2011-12, during which just 21 VLCC orders were reported. The trend gained momentum in the first quarter of 2014 with a total of 15 VLCCs ordered, as compared with only six vessels in the fourth quarter of 2013.

"Attractive yard prices, expectations of faster growth in demand for large crude carriers (amid rising trade on long-haul routes) and growing interest from private equity firms in the tanker market resulted in increased ordering in 2013," said Rajesh Verma, editor of Drewry's Tanker Forecaster. "The recent firming in freight rates in the period market also added fuel to the fire."

Demand on long-haul routes is increasing with changing trade patterns in the oil market. The surge in US shale oil production and downstream expansions in Asia are resulting in higher crude oil exports from Latin America, the Caribbean and West Africa to distant Asian markets. By contrast, exports to the US are declining.

"Tonnage utilization in the VLCC market has not picked up sufficiently to accommodate any surge in ordering activity, putting the sector's recovery at risk over the coming years," warned Verma. "The recent slowdown in the Chinese economy is an additional concern for the VLCC market, as many refinery projects are being delayed or cancelled due to slowing oil demand growth in the country. So, owners need to be cautious."

"Tanker Forecaster" is a quarterly report published by Drewry Maritime Research and is priced at £2075. The report will be available from the Drewry website


Ensco 5006-2 smallTugs Fairmount Summit and Fairmount Alpine have towed rig ENSCO 5006 safely from Cyprus to Singapore. The Fairmount twins towed the rig over about 13,000 miles.

Before he departure off Limasol, Cyprus, both Fairmount tugs performed anchor handling work for the rig. On request of its owners cargo and crew runs were done during a stop off Las Palmas and a bunker stop was made at Port Nqgura, South Africa. During parts of the voyage transit speeds up to 9 knots were reached.

The ENSCO 5006 is a semi submersible drilling rig, capable for drilling operations up to 7,600 meters. The 1999 built rig is owned by Scottish ENSCO Plc.

Fairmount Marine is a marine contractor for ocean towage and heavy lift transportation, headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Fairmount’s fleet of tugs consists of five modern super tugs of 205 tons bollard pull each. Fairmount Marine is part of Royal Boskalis Westminster. Boskalis is a leading global marine and dredging contractor.With a versatile fleet of 1,000 units Boskalis operates in around 75 countries across six continents with 11,000 employees.


SIGNET-ARCTURUSAdding to its fleet of 37 conventional and ASD vessels, Signet Maritime Corporation took ownership of its ninth newly constructed tractor tug in six years. SIGNET ARCTURUS, a 105' x 38' Z-Drive, designed by Robert Allan Ltd. of Vancouver, British Columbia was delivered by Patti Marine Enterprises of Pensacola, Florida on May 25, 2014.

SIGNET ARCTURUS is powered by two Caterpillar model C175-16 main engines, each rated 3417 BHP at 1800 RPM. The engines are coupled to two Rolls-Royce US 255 CP azimuth thrusters via carbon fiber shafting, providing thrust for ABS certified sustained bollard pull of 83.45 metric tonnes. All Caterpillar mains and John Deere 6068TFM76 generator engines aboard the vessel are U.S. EPA Tier 3 certified for reduced emissions.

Joseph W. Dahl, Vice President, Signet Maritime said "this technologically advanced newbuild complements Signet's offshore towing, rig escort and subsea expansion." SIGNET ARCTURUS will be joined by her sister, SIGNET POLARIS, a second ocean towing tractor tug, scheduled for delivery later this month from Patti Marine. Both tugs will be based at Signet's Ocean Towing Division in Port Fourchon, Louisiana for service to the offshore energy industry. Further, Dahl said, "Bundling the controllable pitch propeller (CPP) tractor technology with the brute strength of SIGNET WARHORSE tugs will provide our customers the best of both worlds in strength and agility."

The vessel is equipped with fire resistant wheelhouse windows for servicing LNG and drilling platforms to ensure safety of the crew in case of fire hazard. It is USCG Inspected and is certified ABS International Air Pollution Prevention, International Oil Pollution Prevention and International Energy Efficiency for environmental compliance. Deck machinery includes a Markey model DEPCF-52S, 75 HP electric bow winch and Markey model TESD-34, 100 HP electric double-drum towing winch. The bow winch contains 650 feet of 3-inch diameter synthetic line and the towing winch contains 2 ¼" x 2500' tow wire and one 2 ¼" x 1500' tow wire. SIGNET ARCTURUS is ABS Maltese Cross A1, Towing Vessel, Escort Vessel, Fire Fighting Vessel Class 1, Maltese Cross AMS.

With the inclusion of the ARCTURUS and the POLARIS, the Offshore Towing Division has increased its fleet to ten OTVs, equipping Signet to provide energy service companies with high bollard pull towing and marine movements from harbor to offshore throughout the Gulf of Mexico.

AtlanticOffshoreAberdeen-based standby vessel operator Atlantic Offshore Rescue has secured a five year charter with five, one year options to extend with Shell UK to support operations in the Gannet, Annasuria and the Dana Petroleum Triton Asset in the central North Sea.

John Bryce, managing director of Atlantic Offshore Rescue

Ocean Osprey, a brand new Class A tanker assist, rescue and standby ship will be used to provide emergency recovery, rescue cover, tanker assistance and general field support in offshore operations. The vessel is the first of a new H820 design from Havyard Ship Design and was developed in close collaboration with Atlantic Offshore.

The 66.9 metre long vessel was built in Passai, Spain by Zamakona shipbuilders over a fifteen month period to replace Ocean Searcher. Two further sister vessels are also under construction as part of the company's £300million fleet modernisation programme.

The new vessel has secured 30 jobs and is one of 12 Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRV) managed by the company from its Aberdeen base.

Ocean Osprey can accommodate up to 21 employees and has the capacity to rescue more than 300 persons. It will make its North Sea debut later this month to begin operations.

Atlantic Offshore Rescue is part of the Atlantic Offshore Group, which is based in Norway. Atlantic Offshore Rescue Ltd employs 350 people (approximately 330 seamen and 20 office-based staff) and provides multi-role offshore and emergency rescue and response vessels for many of the oil majors operating in the North Sea.

John Bryce, managing director of Atlantic Offshore Rescue, said: "Securing this charteris down to the first class vessels we offer clients, as well as the experience and professionalism of our team.

"Ocean Osprey features some of the most up to date shipping technology, replaces Ocean Searcher and secures 30 jobs. Launching the new vessel is also part of our ongoing commitment to provide the very best, cutting edge emergency response to those operating in the North Sea, an absolutely crucial part of all oil and gas operations."

In January this year, Atlantic Offshore Rescue commissioned a £6 million Class A ERRV vessel for a two year charter with Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd (Nexen) to provide emergency vessel cover for Nexen's flagship Golden Eagle Area Development in the North Sea.

Mr Bryce continued: "Obtaining this contract, our second long term charter this year, is a real milestone for Atlantic Offshore and, we look forward to fulfilling further contracts in the coming months."

Inclusive of Atlantic Offshore Rescue's 12 vessels, Atlantic Offshore Group currently operates a fleet of 24 ERRVs and PSVs and manages further PSVs on behalf of third parties.

The Group's aim is to continue to expand its capabilities within both the Norwegian and British sector of the North Sea and to be able to provide cross-border solutions reflecting the needs of its clients for both ERRVs and PSVs.


Over the past decade or so, as offshore oil has grown in importance, the development of vessels to meet the needs of the industry has made great strides. The needs for reliability in demanding sea conditions will put any hull to

MarsunThailandA starboard-side view of the Royal Thai Navy patrol boats.

the test. It is not unusual for a commercial vessel serving the petro-industry to clock up 6000 or more hours of operation per year. For vessels operating on time charter, down time can be expensive.

The versatile crew boats that have been developed to meet these expectations are particularly versatile. Their aluminum hulls and multi-engine power provide safe transport of personnel and well as the versatility to carry significant cargos.

Thailand’s Marsun Shipyard has built many of these boats over the years. With three Cummins KTA38 M2 engines each rated at 1350 HP turning fixed pitch propellers the aluminum-hulled vessels make speeds in excess of 24 knots with positive sea-keeping abilities. Marsun also has a long established relationship with the Royal Thai Navy. Not surprisingly the crew boats for the petro industry drew the attention of some astute navy people and an idea was born.

The concept of a military style patrol boat on a commercial hull platform was developed with the engineering departments of Marsun Shipyard and the Royal Thai Navy. A patrol boat required a larger superstructure as well as some armament. To accommodate the additional weight, with increasing speed, the design team decided to increase the horsepower of the navy patrol version. This was accomplished by replacing the Cummins KTA38 M2 engines with three 1800-HP Cummins KTA50-M engines. The 36-meter hull maintained the same 7.6-meter beam and hull form. 

The latest three modified version vessels, with 63-square-meters of clear deck space, retain much of the 36-meter crew boat’s large 67-square-meter after deck. This gives the patrol boat the same 50-ton load capacity and allows the vessel to carry two 20-foot containers on the aft deck should the need arise. Modifications also give the vessel significant flexibility in operations, such as search and rescue capabilities, not found on most patrol vessels of this size. The aft deck is designed with the capacity to mount surface-to-surface missiles. The forward deck has installed a 20 mm machine gun (a 30 mm machine gun is an option). Additional flexible space is designed-in to provide a control system command room in future.

The resulting patrol boat, with a total of 5400 reliable horsepower, achieves speeds in excess of 27-knots. Although the larger engines require more fuel, navy specifications required less fuel capacity than the commercial vessel, which balanced the increase in engine weight. Overall the navy vessel has less weight and consumes less fuel than similar sized patrol boats while offering full functionality in sea state 5 conditions. The combination of a proven commercial hull and a functional patrol deck-layout and superstructure will continue to give good service under all conditions for many years to come.


VideorayVideoRay LLC has provided two Pro 4 ROV systems for the rescue and recovery operation of the ferry Sewol which sunk off the coast of Jindo Island, South Korea last Wednesday. The ROVs are currently searching for bodies or possible survivors on the sea floor around the ferry as well as inside the hull and interior areas that divers cannot access.

Upon learning of the accident VideoRay volunteered equipment and resources to the rescue effort. VideoRay mobilized two experts to South Korea to assist with the extremely dangerous and difficult job of removing victims of the ferry disaster: Mark Fleming, a San Diego-based VideoRay employee with years of Navy diving experience, and Dave Phillips, a VideoRay consultant and undersheriff of the St. Louis County, MN Sheriff's Office.

The VideoRay Pro 4 ROV's small size, portability, and powerful performance in high currents are crucial benefits in the Sewol rescue efforts, where water conditions are challenging. Divers can only work in the cold water and rapid currents for a few minutes before exhaustion overcomes them. Near-zero water visibility makes it difficult for divers to get a clear picture of the wreck. VideoRay ROVs use state-of-the-art camera and sonar to see through the murky water.

VideoRay ROVs are often used in shipwreck accidents to recover victims, and to assist divers and keep them safer. The small ROVs can dive to depths up to 305 meters (1,000 feet) and remain there for days, providing video, lighting, and sonar information to guide divers and topside rescue and recovery personnel. Recent examples include the Costa Concordia salvage operation in Giglio, Italy, where VideoRays have been used for thousands of hours, and the Princess of the Stars ferry accident in the Philippines where over 800 passengers and crew died.

Independent VideoRay consultant and expert shipwreck responder Steve Van Meter, of Cocoa, Florida, commented on the use of VideoRays on the Sewol operation, saying "I can only imagine the challenges both divers and ROV operators must face there. Currents are reported to be in excess of 5 knots, with visibility less than 20 centimeters. In these conditions, it is extremely fortunate that no divers have been injured or killed. VideoRays can go places divers cannot, but they are also invaluable to save bottom time, provide pre-dive information, and provide illumination and direction on site. They are my tool of choice on most jobs, and I'm proud to have worked closely with VideoRay for years."

Located in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, VideoRay LLC is the oldest Micro ROV company and largest volume producer of underwater ROVs in the world. Operations in South Korea are being directed by KCL Trading Company, a VideoRay dealer based in Kyunggi-Do, South Korea.

As of Tuesday morning, rescuers have recovered 104 bodies from the wreck and continue searching for the 198 people still missing. Of the 476 passengers, only 174 were rescued from the sinking ferry.


AnitaThe Damen shipbuilders in the Dutch province of Friesland will not just be sitting on their laurels after the delivery and christening of the two Damen Combi Freighters 3850 (the Noordvliet and Zuidvliet) and the Damen Combi Coaster 2500 MV Anita (photo). "We are seeing a real market for smaller vessels and an interest in the vessels we build." The specialised yard, part of Damen Shipyards Group, is ready for a market revival.

This was what Remko Bouma of Damen Shipyards Bergum had to say about the developments in the maritime industry, in which Damen Shipyards plays a prominent role. This is because the Damen Group's shipyards have plenty to offer. The branch in Bergum contributes by building vessels in the 8200, 2500 and 3850 series, as well as other products in its portfolio. The Combi Freighters 3850 Noordvliet and Zuidvliet have already been deployed in regular service from the Baltic States to the Black Sea, where their sister ships previously supplied by Damen have already proven themselves. The Combi Freighters 3850 generally transport project-specific, bulk and non-bulk cargoes. The Noordvliet and Zuidvliet showed what they could do on their maiden voyages, during which they transported parts and equipment for wind farms from Germany to the Mediterranean region. Both ships had cargo on both of their two cargo decks.

MV Anita
Erik Schultz, the Commercial Director at Damen Shipyards Bergum, seconded his colleague Bouma's positive interpretation of the market, including while serving as master of ceremonies during the christening of the Damen Combi Coaster 2500 MV Anita. This sea/river vessel has been chartered by Vertom USC Holding, a Rotterdam-based tramp shipping agency. Among other things, MV Anita can transport 54 TEU or a total of 2,500 tonnes of dry bulk goods, steel, or other types of cargo. The sea/river vessel runs routes between the United Kingdom and ports in continental Europe. Through environmentally friendly features, in particular by flexibly deploying its main engine (which saves fuel) but other "eco" measures as well, the vessel can be operated much more fuel efficiently than its predecessors in the same class.

This vessel and "marine freight superbroker" (and former chair of the Dutch Marine Freight Brokers Association [Nederlandse Zeebevrachters Sociëteit]) Ary Vijfvinkel have something in common: MV Anita was named for Vijfvinkel's wife, Anita Vijfvinkel-Pevenage. Damen Shipyards and Vertom UCS Holding found this gesture to be a proper way to honour the man who for many years was the face of international marine freight brokerage. His wife Anita was proud to be able to assist with the christening of the MV.

Signet Maritime Corporation, a global marine transportation provider, has announced it has completed its acquisition of eight Harvey Gulf International Marine offshore towing vessels (OTVs) ranging in size from 153 to 75 metric tons bollard pull. The sale will encompass all Harvey OTVs, spares, business and supplies. Signet has committed to retention of all crewmembers and plans for Tier 3 Generation of power onboard all eight tugs with conversions starting immediately.


Signet Warhorse II

The purchase expands Signet's vessel classes and allows the Company to broaden its service, offering over 38 ASD tractor and conventional vessels to customers in the Gulf of Mexico and worldwide. When combined, the modern fleet under Signet ownership and operation will average 11 years of age. "The combination of Harvey and Signet follows a thorough due diligence process and is fully consistent with our strategy of being a "one-stop turnkey" source for all our customers' needs," stated J. Barry Snyder, Signet's President. Further, he commented, "This acquisition will accelerate our growth plans and we are very excited to welcome the talented and hardworking employees of Harvey OTVs to the Signet team."

Shane J. Guidry, Chairman & CEO, Harvey Gulf said, "Our two companies share a strong culture of entrepreneurship and a focus on quality and service to the customer. I look forward to seeing the talented people of Harvey and Signet work together as we continue to fulfill our commitment to meet all our customer needs."

Since 1976, Signet has been a preeminent maritime transportation source for quality vessels. The Company specializes in rig moves, towing, ship assist and escort, vessel design, new vessel construction, repair and maintenance. Keeping the Company at the forefront of technology in the maritime industry, Signet was one of the first to incorporate EPA Tier 3 engines into all its vessel designs. Most recently, Signet's ASD reverse tractor tugs participated in the safe movements of Shell OLYMPUS, Chevron's Jack & St. Malo, Anadarko's LUCIUS, and Chevron's BIG FOOT.
The addition of the eight ocean-class offshore towing vessels enhances Signet's high-performance fleet and enables it to provide ocean towing of semi-submersible, jack-up drilling rigs, TLPs, anchor handling, and subsea pipeline installation support.

The transfer of OTV ownership was completed on May 15, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana with financing provided by Wells Fargo Equipment Finance as part of a $209 million syndicated financing facility. All vessels are scheduled for Tier 3 upgrade and refurbishment at Signet Shipbuilding & Repair in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Signet will continue to maintain its Offshore Towing Division operations from Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

The purchase of the powerful bollard pull ABS classed towing vessels includes: 

· Signet Warhorse I 152.63 metric tons
· Signet Warhorse II 153.58 metric tons
· Signet Warhorse III 135.44 metric tons 
· Signet Lightning 98.76 metric tons
· Signet Thunder 89.74 metric tons 
· Signet Intruder 86.98 metric tonnes
· Signet Titan 82.81 metric tons 
· Signet Trojan 75.70 metric tons.


KMGinaKrogMKongsberg Maritime Engineering (KME) has signed a contract with Gina Krog LLC, a subsidiary of Teekay Shipping AS, for supply of an Integrated Control and Safety System (ICSS) and Power package to the Gina Krog FSO (Floating Storage and Offloading) unit, to be delivered to the Statoil operated Gina Krog field on the Norwegian continental shelf, North Sea.

Teekay recently entered an agreement with Statoil to provide the FSO for the Gina Krog field. The $220 million conversion project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2017, before the newly converted FSO unit will commence operations under a time-charter contract to Statoil.

With delivery due to start Q2 2014, KME's project scope includes design, engineering, manufacturing, testing and supply of all materials, equipment, accessories and tools required for the complete ICSS, Medium Voltage Switchboard, Low Voltage Switchboard (440VAC / 230VAC), thruster transformers, thruster drives, thruster motors and 230VAC distribution, for installation and operation on the FSO.

KME is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kongsberg Maritime and has since 2008 acted as a contracting solution company specialising in EIT engineering and system integration on an EPC basis (Engineering, Procurement & Construction) with strong focus on project management, contracting engineering and site management. KME offers a coherent engineering and management service based on Kongsberg Maritime's established technical competence and experience with marine and offshore operations.

Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. is an international provider of marine transportation, oil production and storage services to the offshore oil industry focusing on the fast-growing, deepwater offshore oil regions of the North Sea and Brazil. Teekay Offshore owns interests in shuttle tankers, floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) units, floating storage and offtake (FSO) units and conventional oil tankers. Teekay Offshore has rights to participate in certain other FPSO and shuttle tanker opportunities provided by Teekay Corporation (NYSE: TK) and Sevan Marine ASA (Oslo Bors: SEVAN). A majority of Teekay Offshore's fleet trades on long-term, stable contracts and it is structured as a publicly-traded master limited partnership.


The launch of the Ramform Titan class marine seismic data acquisition ships by Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) mark a new era of subsea oil and gas exploration. The second of these vessels, the Ramform Atlas was launched in January, 2014. The Ramform Titan and Ramform Atlas are designed and built by PGS to be the most powerful and productive of their kind using the latest marine and electronic seismic technologies.

Ramformtitan3Ramform Titan

Every detail of these vessels was evaluated based on optimum productivity and safety including the cable management systems used to deploy and attach up to a 24-streamer array system. The towed streamers consist of several thousand recording sensors over an area greater than 3,000 acres (12 km2), or 3.5 times the size of New York's Central Park.

The engineers at PGS have chosen the latest proven technologies available throughout the Ramform Titan-class ships, including the new PMI Dyna-Hanger II and Dyna-BSR cable management systems. These systems provide significantly higher load capacities to accommodate the demands of extreme towing loads caused by wider streamer arrays. As a bonus, the major components of both systems can be installed, or removed, in just minutes without special tools or extensive personnel training to increase on deck productivity and reduce downtime.

The Dyna-Hanger II cable management system uses exclusive patent pending designed symmetrical suspension arms with tool-less features and helical rods. It is designed with a hinged collar that snaps around the housing and is secured with just a quick-release pin. A specially designed housing prevents the attachment point from shifting on the lead-in cable while the collar design enables the cable to rotate freely under tension. It is capable of accommodating loads up to 100% of the cable's rated breaking strength.

The Dyna-BSR bending strain relief system provides cable bending and abrasion protection, while enabling rotation of various cable attachments. It replaces traditional slip-on bending strain relief systems that use a one-piece body design. Instead, the Dyna-BSR patent pending two-piece system can be installed or removed at any time during deployment or retrieval procedures. It is designed with a reinforced polyurethane, two-part shell to provide added strength and flexibility. A unique fastener system quickly secures the shells together. In total, the system offers graduated stiffness to protect cables from off-axis loads through a wide range of angle combinations by maintaining a safe minimum bend radius.

"Everything on the Ramform Titan class was chosen for its contribution to our primary goals of providing optimal seismic productivity and crew safety," according to Sverre Olsen, Technical Manager at PGS. "Every sub-system we have, builds on the total system to achieve our goals. PMI systems were chosen because they continue to meet PGS productivity and higher load requirements."

"The successful PGS installation is a result of our conversations with customers about their challenges then developing cable hardware and support services to meet their needs," said Bob Schauer, president, PMI industries. "We are focused on unmatched support for our customers. Whether it is easy-to-use hardware, engineering support or comprehensive cable testing services, we listen and then perform."

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