Anti piracy hardening of a floatel before departure
October 20, 2020
Thoroughly hardened and upgraded, the floatel Bibby Challenge was towed out to a waiting heavy lift vessel in Spindsfjorden.
- We have prepared the barge for the next assignment, which is in Mozambique, says operations manager (COO) Leif Steinar Simonsen in FFS.
Around the entire 92 meter long and 32 meter wide hull, barbed wire is mounted. All windows are secured with grilles and the exterior doors are reinforced, forcing unauthorized persons to use a cutting torch to enter. In addition, the floatel is richly equipped with floodlights and surveillance cameras.
- THE BARRIER WILL house workers at a plant for the production of natural gas in a very risky area. But it should be well secured for any attacks now, Simonsen comments, and gets a nod of approval from the Polish captain, Rafal Brzeskwiniwic.
- A solid job has been done here, the boss on board believes.
Bibby Challenge has been in storage in Lundevågen in Farsund since April 2020. When the news came that a new assignment was waiting on the southeast coast of Africa, FFS was given the job of preparing the housing barge.
- VERY MUCH had to be done in a very short period of time. In addition to securing the barge, we have upgraded all the cabins and installed two berths in each and increased the bed capacity to 680. We have also made new wardrobes, added new air conditioners and improved much of the electricity on board, Simonsen says.
Only from FFS there have been 12-14 men on the assignment. But other local companies have also done jobs on board.
IT IS NOT the first time FFS has had piracy assignments.
- We have done similar jobs before, including on some of the seismic boats, says John Willy Nilsen, who is the general manager of FFS.
The actual launch of the Bibby Challenge on October 8 was a special sight. The floatel was helped out to Spindsfjorden by the tugboats FFS Athos and FFS Atlas. There was MV Osprey anchored up - the largest ship that has arrived in Farsund since "Cis Brøvig" in 1976.
IT 226 METERS the long and 44 meter wide heavy lift vessel had to sink into the water in order to receive the barge. To passers-by, it could almost look as if the ship was split in two. After the actual lifting operation, the Bibby Challenge was welded to the deck next to another barge that was already on board, and transported to Mozambique where new adventures await.