SUMMARIES OF MAJOR ACCIDENT
(In event order)
We Receive a Press Release
is probable that the Marex Offshore Review is now a significant source of
information for the support vessel industry and its clients, not to
mention the many enthusiasts who just love these strange ships. And
possibly in acknowledgement of our popularity, we have received a press
release from Vik-Sandvik. Its good to receive press releases. They are a
source of news which can be used by the journalist without the need for
research, and they quite often contain enough words to make the creative
This contrasts with our efforts to obtain information about the new Stirling
vessels, the Stirling Jura and the Stirling Islay. We have called and
asked if we might visit. We have called to ask for details - well to hell
with the visit, we'll just work with the words, but as yet no success.
course it could be that these ships are already proving to be so popular
that further publicity is unnecessary. One was built in Fergusons, one at
BAE Systems Govan. They are Vik-Sandvik VS475s not dissimilar from the
VS473. They WILL feature in these pages, regardless of the efforts of the
The Subject of the Press Release
The VS press release is about a new standby
vessel, or as it says in the release "FSV" which we assume
stands for Field Support Vessel designed by V-S and to be part of the
emergency arrangements for the Halten/Norland area of the Norwegian Sea.
The area is under the control of Statoil,
Shell and Norsk Hydro who share standby vessels. Indeed it could be that
this vessel is the model from which BP might obtain a model for their
proposed support craft in the Jigsaw plan.
This ship is to be 90 meters long and 18
meters wide, dwarfing all standby vessel so far constructed apart for the
Forties Kiwi which was BP's first standby vessel, converted from an 18,000
ton tanker. The only thing it has in common with the Forties Kiwi is a
helicopter deck, which claims the press release will "enable combined
operations with the search and rescue helicopter." Well, we don't know
about that, but it will allow crew changes to take place without the ship
having to return to port.
Even more surprising than the size is the
intended speed of the ship which, at 20 knots must make it the fastest
support vessel in the North Sea. It is also to have a special stern which
will allow for the recovery of freefall lifeboats and MOB boats. Details
available at present do not show the stern, but perhaps it is similar
to that of the pilot boat which operates of Seattle which is apparently a
sort of slide.
The ship will be manned by twelve people
and will enter service in July 2003.
Stirling Spica Arrives in New Colours
The Stirling Spica, formerly the UT734 Star
Spica arrived during the month in Seacor colours, so this is its third
colour scheme. The Stirling scheme which had the funnels painted in a sort
of traditional British steamer way was less than flattering, where-as the
grey hull and white upperworks and funnels with the Seacor "S"
replacing the old Star Offshore star.
Of course we meant that it had arrived in
Sovereign Explorer Arrives in West Africa
The Transocean Sedco Forex semi-submersible
the Sovereign Explorer has completed its voyage to West Africa. It left
Invergordon at the end of January and was anchored off Malabo a couple of
days ago. The UT722 Asso Ventidue has been paid off and apparently has
further work in Nigeria, and then in Brazil. The parting was recorded on
film and is our picture of the month for April.
We were particularly interested in this job
because we acted on behalf of the warranty surveyors, auditing the ship in
Aberdeen and the rig in Invergordon. It all went well we are pleased to say.
Clarksons Research Service discovered our
website while searching for information about the Laney Chouest. They told
us that they ship was to be delivered in September this year, but knew
We are not exactly waiting with baited
breath. The Americans are well known for their efforts to keep everything
about their ships secret and the revelation that this ship is to be the most
powerful support vessel ever built should be sufficient for us. That and its
intended ability to be able to work in 12,000 ft. 12,000 feet is only two
miles deep. The deepest oceans of the world are eight miles deep so there is
a bit to go, but it is probably the ROV which has really made the
Spare a Thought for the Poor Marine
We take the daily email
and weekly newspaper Energy Day. We would have preferred to have had a
daily paper but were not prepared to shell out the £1.80 per day it would
have cost for Lloyds List.
is related to Lloyds List and like its parent paper it has a weekly comment
on support vessel dayrates. What an awful job it must be to have to cobble
together the 150 words it is necessary to fill the bottom of page three. The
headlines usually say something like "Dayrates fall due to lack of rig
moves," or "Adverse Weather Forces Rate Rise."
writer then has to follow with "comments" from brokers. Of
course they have little to say which might be of interest. Large numbers of
ships are leaning against Blakie's Quay because no-one wants them. Bu they
are almost all anchor-handlers, so as a once only piece of news they might
add that the increase in power and general specification of modern
anchor-handlers, brought about by the move into deeper water, has made them
less viable as cargo carriers. Even if the owners compete on price they have
no way of competing with the PSVs when it comes to fuel consumption.
course they will gradually drift off to Africa or Brazil and the rates might
hold up a bit in Aberdeen. Failing that lets have some decent headlines
"Owners Suicidal Again," "Operators Protesting in Wellington
Road - Anchorhandler Day Rates Unjustified." Well, there are probably
no stories there anyway - and almost no quotes. We'll try to get some for
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