Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Merchant and Private Vessels Safer on the North Sea with Lifeboat's Ship of the Year

UK Group Supports Winning Dutch Search and Rescue Craft
Shipping News Feature

UK – NETHERLANDS – WORLDWIDE – Originally formed over forty years ago, Essex based marine IT management specialist Servowatch is celebrating the company’s part in assisting the Royal Netherlands Sea Rescue Institution (KNRM) in winning last month’s prestigious KNVTS Ship of the Year Award for its revolutionary new search and rescue boat, Nh1816. Based alongside the River Blackwater the Maldon headquartered group was involved in the project from the outset as KNRM required a vessel with an ‘exceptionally high level’ of automation and systems integration to assist in aiding merchant vessels and private craft which get into trouble. CEO Wayne Ross explained:

“We were able to meet the requirement with our turnkey ServoFusion solution. Extensive integration has enabled KNRM to analyse all the data from various systems, including propulsion plant, auxiliary machinery, electrical systems, communication and navigation systems, HVAC and all safety and security management platforms. The integration of all components like this provides a means of real-time data exchange for ship-to-shore communications, which is sacrosanct to the success of any SAR operation.

“We are proud to have been associated with this revolutionary vessel. The Nh1816 is the first in a series of next generation SAR 1906 vessels Damen has delivered to KNRM and rightly seen as the most advanced all-weather, self-righting search and rescue boat in the world.”

KNRM’s next-generation lifeboat is a 35 knot self-righting search and rescue vessel with an aluminium hull and composite wheelhouse with capacity for 125 persons. The hull design is based on the Sea Axe bow, a hull form pioneered by Damen Shipyards Group, Delft University and Marin, and adapted for lifeboat operations. Trials in the North Sea last January, during which the test crew confirmed that the vessel outperformed her predecessor, the Arie Visser class, led to the vessel’s delivery in April 2014 and her capabilities led to November’s award.

The Nh1816 will showcase its new vessel and technologies in January, when she will make way across the North Sea to attend a media event in Servowatch’s home district of Heybridge. Gerard Burema, KNRM’s Head of Strategy & Innovation, said:

“Servowatch listened to our dreams and visions and brought them to reality. The Servowatch Integrated Platform Management System (IPMS) has elevated our SAR vessel into a new dimension, where information technology not only helps the crew operating the vessel, but also supports them with their main assigned task, searching and rescuing people.”

Photo: The award-winning KNRM Nh1816.