Damen completes work on diving bell ship

Damen Shipyards Group has completed construction and outfitting of a diving bell ship for client FMSW Koblenz.

Following successful river trials, Damen sales manager Remko Bouma says: “We are very pleased to have completed construction of this iconic vessel on schedule and to the satisfaction of the customer. This is the result of a very constructive collaboration between all parties, including FMSW Koblenz and Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld. This close cooperation and hard work has led to an efficient project execution and a beautiful vessel.”

The on-time completion of the ship for the German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration comes despite the challenging conditions posed by the coronavirus outbreak.

There has, however, been an impact on the project. Due to the pandemic, the delivery of the diving equipment to Damen has been delayed. As a result, the diving bell ship will now commence operations next summer. Until that time, the ship will wait at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem in the Netherlands. Here, Damen will provide the vessel’s crew with familiarisation training in the meantime.

The new diving bell ship will operate on the Rhine and its tributaries. She will provide dry conditions, in a pressurised atmosphere, in which personnel can work below the water. Her main scope of work will be the search and recovery of lost cargo and wreckage as well as inspection for construction projects.

The vessel will also be capable of providing barrel anchors in gravelly and rocky areas in order to perform sampling activities.

Damen says it has applied the latest technology to the new vessel to ensure her suitability for future operations. She features high-performance diesel-electric propulsion compliant with EU Stage V standards, guaranteeing a constant cruising speed of 13 km/h.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.