Damen fast crew supply vessel completes sea trials

Oct. 7, 2021
Damen’s fast crew supplier 7011 class vessel Aqua Helix has completed sea trials off the Turkish coast and is set to begin passage to the Netherlands.

Offshore staff

GORINCHEM, the Netherlands Damen’s fast crew supplier (FCS) 7011 class vessel has completed sea trials off the Turkish coast and is set to begin passage to the Netherlands.

The Aqua Helix is a 74-m (242-ft), 40-knot, 122-passenger crew change vessel.

According to Damen, the FCS 7011, in combination with the latest Ampelmann walk-to-work system, has been developed in consultation with the offshore energy industry and leading maritime research institutes. It is said to offer a viable alternative to helicopter transport and has already gained substantial interest from clients in the southern North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, and West Africa.

The company said the vessel can transfer larger numbers of personnel for longer distances at higher speeds. This opens the door to moving away from day rate structures toward a pay per journey model and, potentially, vessel sharing. Multiple offshore installations can be served in a single round trip, thereby delivering substantial savings in both time and operational costs.

With journey times of up to 12 hours, comfort and safety are key, the company said. To achieve this the design incorporates the Damen Sea Axe bow, the positioning of the accommodation just aft of amidships, and interceptors fitted within the vessel’s stern. These all minimize sensations of motion as it moves through the sea.

The FCS 7011 also features a range of motion-compensating technologies to optimize the safety of crew transfers. These include a Kongsberg DP system, a tailor-made Ampelmann gangway and a VEEM gyrostabilizer, operating alongside the MTU main engines, Hamilton waterjets, Danfoss shaft generators, Reintjes gearboxes and Veth bow thrusters. The result is a tightly integrated advanced control system capable of delivering and receiving personnel safely in a wide range of sea states.

On arrival in the Netherlands, the Ampelmann gangway system will be installed, making the FCS 7011 ready for fully-integrated, proof of concept trials in the North Sea.