VIDEO: Damen dredge heads for Australia on her own keel

Tommy Norton is the first Damen Shipyards Group dredge built for Australia Tommy Norton is the first Damen Shipyards Group dredge built for Australia

JULY 20, 2017 — After successfully completing sea trials in Shanghai, a Damen TSHD 650 trailing suction hopper dredge is now underway on her own keel to new owner, Gippsland Ports in Australia.

The TSHD, named Tommy Norton, is the first Damen Shipyards Group dredge built for Australia.

Having left Shanghai July 14, a Damen team is sailing Tommy Norton approximately 5,000 nautical miles over a period of approximately 30 days to reach Australia. Along the way, the vessel will stop off in Guam for bunkering and to enable the crew to take on supplies of fresh water and food.

Damen's team has made extensive preparations for the voyage.

"Before embarking on such a trip, there is a lot to do. We have to make sure we have enough supplies on board for our safe manning of seven crew – and to ensure that everyone is familiar with the vessel," says Captain Martin van Krieken. "Then there's voyage planning, draft and stability calculations, weather routing, establishing of a maintenance schedule and checking all on board equipment to take into account."

Captain Van Krieken says that safety is given the highest priority during these preparations.

"One of the key points of focus is the setting up of both an International Safety Management (ISM) and an International Ship and Port Security (ISPS) system, both of which are certified by Bureau Veritas prior to departure," he says. "This includes rollout of a number of drills – including abandon ship, man overboard, fire, emergency steering, collision, oil spills, grounding and piracy. Nothing is left to chance."

The team has on board a comprehensive set of medical equipment and medicines in case of injury or sickness. Although Captain Van Krieken is trained to administer treatment for most common medical situations, he can also count of the assistance of the Netherlands' 24-hour doctor support service for Dutch Captains.

On arrival in Australia, Tommy Norton will undergo dredging trials.

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