Welcome aboard FFS Arion
September 14, 2021
The FFS fleet's new member can take on other types of assignments than its sister vessels.
Join FFS Arion and meet those who work here with Captain Tommy Antonsen.
- This is a real boat. 20 meters longer than the others. More power and more winches. Can tow up to 85 tons, participate in rig moves and handle anchors, says captain Tommy Antonsen.
- Big is beautiful?
- Haha. No, but these are the kind of boats I'm used to working on. For me, this is the kingdom of heaven, says Tommy. He was previously captain of FFS Athos.
EVERYTHING IS BIGGER at FFS Arion. Mass and cabins. Eight men work on board.
The captain, chief engineer, chief mate and apprentice are Norwegian. These four go on a four-week shift.
The rest of the crew, the motorman, the two sailors and the chef, are all from the Phillipines.
- The staff on board is great. We joke a lot and have a lot of fun, says Tommy, who is from Mandal.
IN THE MASS three of the crew are gathered around a PC screen showing news from their home country. The Filipinos on board like to talk to their family on Facetime daily.
- When we are out at work, we go on a six-hour shift. Then there will be no time for so much other than working, eating and sleeping. But if we are at the quay in Farsund and waiting for assignments, I like to go ashore for a walk. Sometimes I take my fishing rod with me. I love fishing for trout, and there are good conditions for that in the area here, says Tommy, who emphasizes that he is never far from the boat.
- If we get an assignment, we will be ready and sail in 15 minutes. It is important to have a low response time, especially when we are helping casualties, says Tommy.
FFS ARION HAR already been out on a salvage mission after it was purchased. A vessel was outside Arendal drifting towards the reefs, when the Limassol-registered tugboat from Farsund came by and had it towed to safety.
- FFS Arion is perfect for such jobs. It is taller than the other boats in the FFS fleet, and that gives us a better overview from the bridge, says Tommy.
Such salvage assignments are good business.
FFS ARION HELP also recently a boat that was floating in the open sea between Hanstholm and Lindesnes. When there is no danger of grounding or the boat sinking, such assignments are usually agreed directly with the owner of the boat on commercial terms and are therefore not considered salvage.
FFS Arion was built at the Simek shipyard in Flekkefjord in 1993. The boat was originally built to assist super tankers at Mongstad.
In FFS, it will be used for various towing assignments, in addition to salvage. But it can also help move drilling rigs inland and pull anchors, what we call barge actions.
- FFS Arion is a larger and more usable boat than the others in our fleet. I think we will have plenty of work in the future, says Tommy.