Family-owned shipping and energy services firm, Craig Group, today announced the investment of £70 million to build six new rescue vessels at the Balenciaga Shipyard in Northern Spain.
Four D class IMT 950 Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels (ERRVs) and two F class IMT 958 ERRVs will be delivered during 2014 and early 2016, replacing existing tonnage in the fleet.
Douglas Craig, Chairman and Managing Director of Craig Group, said, “This significant investment is part of our continued drive to operate the largest and most modern wholly British owned fleet engaged in the U.K. offshore industry.”
The fleet expansion comprises four D Class vessels, complementing the existing four D Class vessels already in service within the fleet. The vessels are 50 meters in length and will be outfitted as a minimum with 1 Daughter Craft and 1 Fast Rescue Craft as well as state of the art survival facilities.
Two F Class vessels will also be brought into service. Slightly larger at 58 meters long with diesel electric propulsion via twin Azimuth Stern Drives, they will also be equipped with Daughter Craft and Fast Rescue Craft as well as being able to transfer and store limited deck cargo and provide offshore locations with fresh water and fuel if required.
Callum Bruce, managing director, of North Star Shipping which is operated by Craig Group said, “We are constantly looking at ways of expanding and modernising our fleet. The new vessels will feature the most up to date technology and designs, meeting our customers’ needs in terms of safety, quality and efficiency.”
More than 160 seafarers’ jobs will be secured as part of the newbuild program which has seen over £230 million invested and 22 new vessels since 2003. The investment also allows North Shipping to continue to support British Shipping by training 80 Officer Cadets on an annual basis.
At present the fleet stands at 36 vessels and includes a mix of Platform Supply, Tanker Assist, ROV Support and Emergency Response and Rescue Vessels.