New Cable Laying Ships Enters Service

Wednesday, May 09, 2001
The Oceanic Princess, the first of two new cable laying vessels purchased for conversion by specialist UK shipping group James Fisher and Sons PLC in the second half of last year, has been delivered on long term charter to it-International Telecom, a subsidiary of Advanced Technology Systems, Greensboro, N.C. Delivery to it-International on May 4 follows the successful completion of sea trials for the 5,000-ton former RoRo vessel, converted to its new role at the Victor Lenac shipyard in Rijeka, Croatia. Conversion work on the second ship, the 3,000-ton Oceanic Pearl, is at an advanced stage. This vessel is expected to undergo sea trials later in the summer prior to going on charter to it-International. Delays to conversion work on the two vessels enabled James Fisher to specify various operational changes. On the Oceanic Princess these include increased accommodation and additional power generation and thruster power, combined with the installation of the charterer's preferred sophisticated cable monitoring and control system. Similar modifications are being made to the Oceanic Pearl. Cable deployment on the delivered ship is monitored and controlled from a Makai suite of equipment installed on the bridge adjacent to the DP control station. There is a separate cable lay control room overlooking the main cable working deck. Fully air-conditioned accommodation is provided for 65 persons. Separate lounges, recreation rooms, conference room and client lounge have been incorporated. A gymnasium with sauna is an additional feature. Commenting, David Cobb, chairman of James Fisher, said: "This latest vessel, Oceanic Princess, is to be joined in the next three months by Oceanic Pearl. These vessels will add an extra dimension to our successful presence in the growing market for cable laying worldwide. We already have the 'Nexus', currently on charter with Global Marine Systems Limited, and the three ships together will provide an important contribution to our operations."

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