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Living & working offshore; two weeks aboard

Tuesday, 18 May 2021 16:58

During April/May 2021, Certion is working on a project in the North Sea whereby our technicians are living aboard an offshore crane vessel. This means two weeks in which they work, play, eat and sleep aboard the MPI Resolution. Here we describe a day aboard the crane vessel.

Facts & figures about the MPI Resolution

The crane vessel MPI Resolution, built in 2003, measures 130 x 38 metres, has a load capacity of 7,000 tons and two hoisting cranes with a 600 ton lifting capacity. The core business of the vessel is the facilitating of service operations to offshore wind turbines. The outstanding feature of this vessel is that it can be jacked up on six legs and transformed into a stable offshore platform. The owner of the wind turbine park has chartered the vessel for this project, which is situated 20 kilometres offshore.

A detailed scenario

Certion has been enlisted to undertake the exchange of the main components of seven turbines. The job starts with the supply into the port of the main components, spare parts and tools. Although the planning has been meticulous, the actual length of the period offshore will be dependent on the weather. The cost of hiring a properly appointed crane vessel is high, so Certion technicians have already visited the turbines in a smaller boat – a Crew Transfer Vessel – to make the necessary preparations, such as disconnecting electrical facilities, uncoupling hoses and removing couplings.

Good food, satisfied crew

For the duration of the project, the crane vessel is home to a total of 43 people, consisting of the ship's crew (double staffing), customer representatives and nine Certion technicians in two teams. Proper care and good food are absolutely vital, so the food served on board is of a high standard, and the vessel also features relaxation facilities, including fitness equipment and a cinema.

Working rhythm; 12 hours on, 12 hours off

The Certion engineers work in two continuous shifts: the morning/afternoon shift from 06:00 to 18:00 and the evening/night shift from 18:00 to 06:00. The morning/afternoon shift starts at 06:00 AM, which means that the alarm goes off at 04:30. After breakfast in the dining hall, preparations for the day start with a work meeting and the handover from the evening/night shift.

Team work, contact and safety

A robust 18m gangway is used to get to the turbine from the jacked-up crane vessel. Three technicians go into the wind turbine, while one colleague remains on board to attach and detach materials using the crane hook. The technicians maintain contact with each other via walkie-talkies. A number of team members, all of whom have received offshore training, relay precise instructions to the crane operator. At 17:30 PM, when their shift is almost over, the technicians return to the crane vessel for the handover to the evening/night shift, followed by a 12 hour period for relaxation and sleep.

Moving cautiously because of the coronavirus

Due to the prevailing Covid-19 situation, all those working on the vessel had to return a negative coronavirus test before being allowed on board. In addition to this, their temperature was taken twice a day for the first week, and social distancing precautions are also respected aboard the vessel.

If you would like to know more or follow the vessel, please click here.

Living & working offshore; two weeks aboard