The installation of the Dudgeon offshore windfarm proved to be an ideal environment to trial Reflex Marine’s latest innovation for transferring personnel offshore by crane, WAVE-4. Seaway Heavy Lifting (SHL), a leading offshore contractor based in the Netherlands, were the ideal partner for the trial.
Launched in 2016, Reflex Marine’s WAVE-4 transfer carrier was put through its paces in trial operations from SHL’s Heavy Lift Vessels (HLV), Oleg Strashnov and Stanislav Yudin. Trial lifts between HLV and Anchor Handling Tug (AHT) and between the vessel and newly installed structures such as foundations and offshore substations were carried out. Transfers with WAVE-4 were also carried out during the installation of the test platform on a substructure by the world’s largest vessel, the Allseas Pioneering Spirit, on the Dutch continental shelf.
Over 50 crew took part in trial lifts, impact testing, immersion testing and their valuable opinions were gathered after the exercises. Having used rigid personnel baskets until now, crew felt safer and more comfortable riding in the WAVE-4. Other benefits of WAVE-4 were identified as increased safety and carrier longevity, ease of use and maintenance, a compact footprint, night-time transfer optimisation and good banksman outlook during transfer.
Over 50 crew take part in trials during Statoil Dudgeon Windfarm Installation. (Photo credit - Seaway Heavy Lifting).
The trial helped Reflex Marine identify some final, minor enhancements to the design to assist passenger flow and deck crew handling, which have since been implemented. Crews were positive towards the new system for transfer and access and Seaway Heavy Lifting will be implementing it fully in offshore wind and oil and gas projects from late 2016.
Marc van Dorth, Operations Advisor from Seaway Heavy Lifting said, “Using cranes for transferring personnel provides the flexibility and capability to ensure projects are completed on time. It allows us to use existing assets already on our vessels rather than waiting for additional transportation from shore e.g. helicopters, rapid medevac capability. Our crews and clients will appreciate the added comfort and safety benefits of Reflex Marine’s WAVE-4.”
The success of this collaboration was based on shared values of the two companies, namely; innovation, drive to improve marine safety, and a belief that cranes offer a very safe and reliable means of transfer for offshore operations. Seaway Heavy Lifting and Reflex Marine are working together on another innovation to make working at height in marine environments safer.
Transfer from HLV Stanislav Yudin to Anchor Handling Tug (AHT) during Test Jacket installation for Allseas Pioneering Spirit. (Photo credit – Seaway Heavy Lifting).