Each year, Maritime Safety Week marks the UK government’s recognition of the excellent safety work that goes on across the maritime sector. Now in its third year, it provides a valuable opportunity to focus on specific safety challenges and what is being done to tackle them, as well as helping to share knowledge, experience and best practice and to deliver key safety messages.
Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst will be heading this year’s Maritime Safety Week, which takes place from Monday 06 July to Friday 10 July. We’re proud to showcase some of our own projects in the diverse markets in which we operate and highlight some of the work we do around the globe to keep those using our seas and waterways safe.
Supporting safety in national defense
We work with our customers in the defence industry to help them keep their assets safe along with the people that operate them and their surrounding environments. As experts in defence maritime safety management, we ensure that principal hazards have been assessed and that all risks are minimised to an acceptable level. This, in turn, helps to maintain through life operational capability and availability – keeping naval fleets fit to fight.
Specific examples include our work with South Korean Shipbuilders, Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, in which we designed the Tide Class support tankers for the UK’s Royal Fleet Auxiliary Service. As part of this project, we were responsible for ensuring that these innovative, double-hull tankers were designed, constructed and could be operated in full compliance with the UK Ministry of Defence ‘s Safety and Environmental Regulation and Policy.
We also provide technical support for the UK Defence Safety Authority’s Defence Maritime Regulator (DMR). DMR is responsible for developing the regulatory framework to demonstrate that MOD shipping, diving and port regulations are meeting the overarching Safety and Environmental regulations and legislation, thus protecting people, equipment and the environment. Our independent objectivity, innovative ideas and proven methodologies have all been key in helping the DMR in their vital role to ensure maritime safety and environmental compliance.
Protecting reefs, lives and assets
We’ve built our reputation on delivering innovative solutions to complex problems. That philosophy has shown that improving maritime safety can sometimes involve supporting the environment in a way that also helps protect shipping and assets on vulnerable shorelines. For example, in Australia, we’ve been working in collaboration with the University of Queensland to develop new approaches to stabilise sections of the Great Barrier Reef. By taking broken coral from the seabed and placing it into natural-fibre nets in carefully chosen areas, we’ve been able to provide a stable base for new coral to grow, thus protecting vessels and shorelines from cyclone wave damage.
In addition to helping mitigate damage from natural maritime disasters, we also deliver safety measures to help reduce the risk of conventional grounding incidents before they happen. For example, we provide complete program management for dredging and sand bypassing operations to maintain safe shipping channels.
Keeping the lights on
As the world’s demand for clean energy has grown, so too has the number of offshore windfarms and the range of vessels that support them. Our design for a new 36m Service Accommodation Transfer Vessel (SATV) allows technicians to spend a week or more at sea as they service and maintain the turbine towers that power the industry. The design posed a technical challenge in that the vessel had to be both large enough and comfortable enough to live on whilst still being small enough to engage with the turbine landing tubes, thus enabling service technicians to transfer onto the towers safely. The answer lay in the latest iteration of our patented Active Fender System™ – a well proven and highly regarded solution that allows conventional windfarm vessels or even larger vessels such as our SATV to push up to wind turbine generators with a significantly reduced impact load, thus reducing the risk of damage to the towers and the risk to key personnel.
BMT REMBRANDT is our high-fidelity, 3D ship navigation simulator that has long set the standard for maritime training simulation software. So much so that select cruise lines Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn North America and P&O Cruises Australia have signed multiple contracts to order office and ship-based licences for nearly 40 cruise ships.
By delivering the highest standards of manoeuvring simulation, BMT REMBRANDT is trusted to provide a versatile and scalable system that powers the fleets of these prestigious leisure travel companies. We’re proud that our solution for maritime simulation and virtual training has been essential in helping protect the safety and comfort of cruise guests worldwide.
This innovative technology has also been adopted by the world’s leading statutory marine agencies, including the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) Office of Marine Safety (OMS), the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, the Australian Transport Safety Board and the Dutch Safety Board.
Although the coronavirus pandemic gives Maritime Safety Week a very different atmosphere this year, it nevertheless plays an important role in helping the public to understand how BMT continue to innovate, improve and lead the way in international maritime safety.