A new diving bell ship built by Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld for FMSW Koblenz operator, WSA Rhine, has now successfully completed river trials. The diesel-electric vessel, which is EU Stage V compliant, will replace the existing unit, Carl Straat, and will have a constant cruising speed of 13km/hour.
It will provide a base for personnel to work safely below the water. Its main operation will be to search and recover lost cargo and wreckage, undertake inspection work for construction projects, and carry out sampling activities in gravelly and rocky areas of the riverbed.
Gerald Rose, FMSW project manager, commented: “In 2018, we awarded the contract for the replacement of the diving bell ship Carl Straat to Dutch shipbuilder Damen. Due to the unique nature of the vessel, this is a particularly challenging project. Both parties would like to build an excellent vessel for the operator – WSA Rhine – and I think this has been successful up to now. The Dutch not only live by the water, they work with it and this is impressively confirmed by this vessel.” Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld’s project manager, Marius van Wijngarden, added: “Although much of the work has taken place against the challenging backdrop of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the excellent cooperation between all parties has made this project a success. I am very proud of the team for the way they rose to this challenge.”