Offshore support vessels to the rescue

Offshore support was never more in demand or important than in March 2021, when the Ever Given container ship became stuck in the Suez Canal for six days. Salvage crews worked 24-hour days, digging and tugging, trying to free the vessel and ease the congested ship traffic forming in the canal. The massive traffic jam […]

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Offshore support was never more in demand or important than in March 2021, when the Ever Given container ship became stuck in the Suez Canal for six days. Salvage crews worked 24-hour days, digging and tugging, trying to free the vessel and ease the congested ship traffic forming in the canal. The massive traffic jam delayed delivery of essential goods and supplies around the world and cost the canal operators $15 billion each day.

Not sure how long the delay would last, many ship operators diverted their journeys along the Southern African coast to reach their destination, with the appreciation that offshore supply vessels are available if and when they may need them.

What is an offshore supply vessel?

Offshore supply vessels provide essential support to the marine industry, such as shipping equipment, getting needed supplies or materials to ships, transferring personnel from sea to land, or vice versa.

Each offshore supply vessel offers a different and essential service that allows crew members to continue their work uninterrupted while at sea. Here’s a list of the most common offshore supply vessels and how they assist the marine industry.

Supply offshore support vessels

Transport goods, personnel, equipment, and cargo. They often hold their position close to a ship while they offload the necessary supplies.

Support vessels

Offer specialised services, especially where crews are drilling for natural resources. They can assist ships in distress and support them by recovering oil from the water during an oil spill.

Utility vessels

Carry cargo, equipment, and personnel. In some instances, utility vessels also transfer hazardous materials like excess fuel.

Diving support

Designed for commercial operations, these vessels can anchor for dive operations, underwater maintenance and platform inspection. Holes in the middle of the vessel, called a moonpool, make it possible for equipment or personnel to lower the water. This type of vessel should stay in position, regardless of the weather conditions.

Anchor handling tug supply

Even on the open sea, vessels can tow other ships. Anchor handling tug supply vessels can tow and float ships, assist by handling chains, anchors and towing rigs. They offer basic functions similar to those provided by supply offshore support vessels.

Offshore construction vessels

Set up for accommodation as these vessels can remain on the spot for long periods. The open deck area is a distinguishing feature, and these vessels can lift heavy cranes, assist in underwater installations, repair, and maintenance work.

Like the salvage crews that liberated the Ever Given, Servest’s dedicated and reliable offshore support team is available 24/7. Get in touch for marine solutions that operate a fleet of offshore support vessels from all Southern African ports. For more information, visit https://www.servest.co.za/our-services/.

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