Great Ships of 2001 -- Esperanza del Mar

Wednesday, December 05, 2001
As of September, 2001, the Spanish fishing and merchant fleet can count on a truly exceptional seagoing salvage and medical care facility: the ship Esperanza del Mar, built by the Gijón yard of the Izar Group, for the Marine Welfare Institute, a division of the Spanish Labor Ministry.

There is no other ship in the world of this tonnage and characteristics built specifically for salvage and medical care at sea. This project is due principally to the initiative of the Marine Welfare Institute. When the time came to replace the old Esperanza del Mar, after more than 20 years of service, the Institute employed its long experience in the preparation of an exhaustive specification for the call for tenders for the building of the new ship, and financed its construction and commissioning.

Izar's Gijón yard produced an excellent design and built an extraordinary, highly innovative vessel capable of rendering complete service to those who require assistance at sea, with the contribution of ideas, technology and human resources from a broad range of Spanish companies and professionals.

The ship is also equipped with the means to carry out salvage operations and assistance to other ships in distress. Special attention was given to the safety of the ship itself, from the general arrangement and separation into compartments to the launching and recovery of rescue craft. Other design criteria were maneuverability and low noise levels. For the latter, the Lloyd's Register, aside from the normal ship classification tasks, took charge of an exhaustive series of measurements and checkings that have demonstrated that the noise level is below that required by IMO.

Based on the above-mentioned criteria, the following design criteria were defined.

•Comfortable and safe accommodations for 41 crewmembers, 17 patients and 30 victims recovered from accidents at sea. Provisions were made to allow for increasing the hospital bed capacity in the future.

• Reinforced hull for navigation in icy water.

• Capability to provide towage; fire-fighting; fuel, fresh water and electricity

• Logistics support for repair work

Pollution control capacity

• Scientific research container shipping capacity. A weather forecasting container can also be accommodated.

• Hold for logistics support cargo in special situations, such as natural disasters.

• Helideck (not a permanent installation) and helicopter refuelling facility.

The vessel design was carried out by the yard's technical department, in close co-operation with the technical and inspection personnel of the owner, the Marine Welfare Institute. Oliver Design participated in the first stages of the project in an area of maximum importance in a ship of this type: the architectural design and shapes of the superstructure and its decks. The ship, along with all its machinery and equipment was built according to the Rules and under the surveillance of the Lloyd's Register.

Patient Care Spaces and Means

Esperanza del Mar was designed, as the Director General of the Institute of Marine Welfare, as "a hospital equipped with the capacity to navigate". This concept has materialised in the design of the Hospital Deck, and around it all the spaces, equipment and systems that correspond to a modern ship, in accordance with the with the following design criteria: Hospital area located on a single deck, situated as low as possible for minimum accelerations in this area. Situated on the same level as the helideck and the rescue equipment for direct access from rescue operations and smooth passage of beds and cots to treatment area; An accommodation deck is arranged between the engine room and the hospital zone to reduce noise. In addition, to reduce noise from the air conditioning system, its machinery is located in the engine room and the air conditioning in the hospital zone is separate from the rest of the ship. Air is not re-circulated. This system is described later on in this report; Natural lighting and ventilation are employed to the maximum. Corridors are designed to accommodate a flow of hospital beds with an accompanying person on the side. The doors of the patients' cabins are designed to accommodate hospital beds. The patients' cabins have access to beds on both sides.

Rescue Equipment

Esperanza del Mar is equipped with efficient means for rescuing victims from accidents at sea, towing operations and assistance in different types of emergencies such as fires, breakdowns, pollution or natural disasters. That equipment includes FRDC (Fast Rescue Daughter Craft) or "ambulance boat", type MP-100, manufactured by Maritime Partner and supplied by Pasch, of a 9.95 m length and 3.50 m beam, with capacity for 3 crew and 17 victims. Her engines (2 x 170 bhp) enable her to reach 32 knots. High-tech navigation and communications equipment are installed on her bridge. Three pneumatic rescue craft, each fitted with two outboard motors.

• G67 davit for FRDC craft, of a 10 m reach and 6.7 t SWL, and two G15, 1.7 SWL davits for rescue craft, all produced by Hydramarine and supplied by Pasch.

• Tow hooks manufactured by Industrias Ferri

• Two Pesbo rescue boats

• Five D8B life rafts for 5x12 persons, with a launching platform, supplied by Llalco

• Service boat with outboard motor

• Marine Aries pollution cleanup kit formed by:

• 300 m oil spill contention barrier

• Oil skimmer

Waste transfer pump

• Also arranged on board is a Skum monitor to provide firefighting service to other ships

Propulsion and Maneuvering

Izar Manises participated actively in the construction of the hospital ship Esperanza del Mar. The company also supplied a deck crane, and the complete propulsion pack. The ship is arranged with two separate shaftlines for total engine redundancy, to ensure rescue operations at all times.

Each propulsion line consists of a Mak Model 9M25 four-stroke propulsion engine with a power output of 2,700 kW at 750 rpm in compliance with IMO NOx emission requirements. Each engine is coupled through a Vulkan resilient coupling to a Reintjes WAF 4545 reduction gear of a reduction ratio of 3.42. Shafting 18.5 m in length and four fixed pitchpropellers by Baliño of a nominal speed of 219 rpm. The system is fitted with braking elements and the shafting has a clutch that confers the system broad operating flexibility. The electric power plant installed aboard the Esperanza del Mar, supplied by Pasch, is composed of three gensets and one emergency set, all designed and manufactured by Demp. Three MAN D 2842 LE301, 12 cylinder in V auxiliary engines and one 500 kWe Stamford electric power alternator. These sets are cooled by means of a water/water heat exchanger with a centralized on-board water circuit. An emergency genset with a MAN D 2842 LE201, 12 cylinders in V and a 500 kWe Stamford electric power alternator, cooled by means of an air/water radiator. Special care has been given to control noise emissions and vibrations, given the mission of this ship.

The weight/power/volume ratio of these gensets is excellent. The main and emergency switchboards, as well as the control stations of engines 1 and 2 and the control console installed in the engine control room were built and supplied by Isotrón. Hispano Radio Marítima supplied the electronic navigation, external communications and telemedicine.

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