Getting into the vessel operation business, Damen Shipyards and walk to work (W2W) specialist Ampelmann have established a joint venture called OceanXpress.
It will provide offshore crew change services in the North Sea area using the Damen fast crew supply vessel (FCS) 7011 Aqua Helix which has been fitted with an Ampelmann S-type motion compensated gangway system.
The vessel and state of the art gangway system have successfully passed offshore commissioning and OceanXpress will now start offering services to the offshore energy market.
Damen and Ampelmann will provide full logistical support to the operations of Aqua Helix and the S-type as a fully integrated crew supply solution.
The vessel, which will be operated by experienced crew from Wagenborg Offshore can transport up to 120 people at once. The height adjustable Ampelmann gangway will facilitate rapid crew changes to and from the FCS, allowing it to service multiple offshore installations during its tour.
With 120 business class chairs, the FCS 7011 can sail at speeds up to 40 knots, even in rough conditions. Its ax bow reduces slamming and pitching to great extent, while the largest gyro stabilizer built to date by VEEM Marine will reduce rolling by more than 90 percent.
Weight reduction is key when high speed is required and Damen and Ampelmann engineered Aqua Helix for integration of the gangway installation with the hull structure, allowed the engineers to design a light but strong structure for the gangway foundation.
At destination, the Ampelmann gangway system enables offshore workers to safely walk to the offshore installation. Based on proven technology, the telescopic gangway can reach platforms and turbines up to 19 meters above sea level. This provides continuous access from the vessel to the platform or wind turbine, enabling the smooth transfer of large groups. The combination of advanced dynamic positioning, gyro stabilizer and the Ampelmann system allow for safe, rapid and efficient personnel transfers.