Victoria-based Tactical Marine Solutions Ltd. has signed a contract to manage a specialist research ship for the University of Victoria. The former Canadian Coast Guard vessel, previously known as Tsekoa II, is being refurbished to service the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS) underwater observatories in Georgia Strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
The observatories gather live images and data from instruments on the seafloor, making them freely available to the world’s marine scientists, researchers, and students worldwide via the Internet.
The 87-foot (26.7-metre) vessel is being stretched to accommodate specialist equipment for the task, including the deployment of a remotely operated platform for ocean sciences (ROPOS). The vessel will be expanded to include a science lab and accommodation for seven crew and up to eight scientists. The vessel will also be used for coastal ocean research.
The refit, expected to be completed in late 2011, will transform the vessel into North America’s first fuel cell plug-in hybrid “green ship.” The ship will rely on an all-electric propulsion system that will be powered by batteries, fuel cells, and low-emission diesel generators. These generators will be used only when power demands are high during long-distance cruising or submersible operations.
The ship was designed for the Canadian federal government fleet by Vancouver’s Robert Allan Limited and built in 1984 by Allied Shipbuilders in Vancouver as a workboat for maintenance and repairs of buoys, docks, and other structures in small harbours along the B.C. coast. It was transferred to Canadian Coast Guard service in the 1990s. A new name for the ship has not been chosen.
TMS has appointed Matthias Teichrieb operations manager to support the company’s expansion into the management of specialized scientific and support ships.
“Matthias has broad experience of building, refits and large passenger ships’ operation. In this new role he will be responsible for the operations, technical management and crewing of all Tactical Marine-managed ships, with the primary emphasis always being the safe and efficient operation of the vessels,” CEO Dermot Loughnane said.
Victoria-based Tactical Marine Solutions offers shipping companies, governments and the marine departments of energy and resource companies specialist solutions for complex shipping requirements. The marine management group has proven abilities in the design and evaluation of shipping systems, the acquisition of specialized vessels, and ship management. See www.tactmarine.com.
Photo: UVic Communications