Australian firm gains new vessel as it eyes the North Sea

The new vessel
The new vessel

Australian maintenance experts Vertech are preparing to take delivery of their first specialist vessel as the company’s diving team aims to expand into the North Sea and further afield.

The new 14.4m daughter craft, which will be one of a number built, is due for delivery in early April and will feature a three-diver panel and state of the art monitoring equipment.

The vessel has been designed for diving operations in 1.6m significant wave height and built to order in Cape Town, South Africa.

In recent weeks it completed sea trials to gain MCA category two approval.

The vessel’s sea trials follow the completion of testing of Vertech’s first containerised Nitrox dive system and industry recognition for its commitment to the highest standards of safety and

A second dive system, which will be fully ATEX zone II rated, is also to be introduced in May of this year.

Vertech, part of the Global Energy Group and already well-established in Australia, was launched in the UK earlier this year with a £5 million investment.

The new equipment was put through rigorous trials at the National Hyperbaric Centre in Aberdeen, as the growing Vertech diving team readies itself for work in the North Sea.

Prospective clients were invited to attend the trials and view the system in operation, with the demonstration utilising the centre’s UKAS approved test facility.

The successful trials and the completion of the company’s extensive dive manual, governing all of its future operations, earned Vertech accreditation from the International Marine Contractors
Association (IMCA) to mark the final stage in preparations for subsea work.

IMCA confirmed the accreditation after a three-day audit conducted over the winter. DNV GL 9001 accreditation has already been gained.

Alan Melia, offshore diving manager, said: “The IMCA accreditation is recognition of the hard work by the entire company in establishing the diving team. A tremendous amount of ground has been
covered and we are delighted to be in position to mobilise.

“The successful sea trials of the daughter craft are also vital. The vessel will give us the capability of carrying out diving operations for a full day without re-charging gas cylinders. That
is an important differentiator for us and provides us with the first purpose built daughter craft in the UK for diving operations.

“It has been designed to provide stability in 1.6m significant wave height, which is a huge improvement on the modified craft which have traditionally been used for operations.

“We have also commissioned a transfer craft, to move personnel between the daughter craft and the mother ship. It will feature the biggest single davit load and recovery system ever developed by the specialist manufacturer responsible for that equipment.”

“Building the team, commissioning the system and daughter craft, completing testing and gaining accreditation has been underpinned by the attention to detail which will be at the heart of our diving operations and we’re looking forward to embracing a number of exciting opportunities in 2015.

“We will be involved in projects worldwide, part of an integrated offering designed to support inspection, enhancement, maintenance and life of field extension solutions through innovation in diving, rope access and alternative access. Our focus is on the dive operations but we work as part of the Vertech team to ensure a seamless service to clients.”