Etamad

Handled with kid gloves:
transport of sensitive crew boats

High speed ships needed special three point suspension lift

MV “Beluga Fairy”, one of Beluga’s modern multipurpose heavy-lift project carriers delivered in December 2009, transported two special water crafts from Malaysia to Iran. “The boats measured 35 metres in length each but weighed only 110 tons which is not much considering the size”, says Cargo Superintendent Eduard Lopkov from the Beluga Transport Engineering Department who supervised the loading in Port Kelang on January 29, 2010. The structure of the crew boats features very light materials and thin hull plating. Such a construction increases the speed of the two water crafts in the water but also makes them very vulnerable to dents and scratches.

“We carried out a three point suspension lift directly out of the water with special wide polyester belts to avoid any damage to the cargo”, explains Lopkov. “Very strong currents in the port of loading – situated on a river – complicated the arrangement of the lifting slings under water at the correct positions. A diver supported us at that stage.” After that, the board cranes of MV “Beluga Fairy” easily raised the crew boats out of the water and placed it onto the hatch covers of the multipurpose heavy-lift project carrier which had already accommodated power plant equipment and steel plates under deck.

The loading of the water crafts could be concluded relatively fast: “Due to the timely preparation for the load out and installing the cradles for the boats the night before, we were able to finish the two lifts in one day. That reduced lay time of our carrier and, thus, costs for the customer”, states Captain Emmanuel Quiñanola, a master being very experienced in transporting heavy-lift cargo. The crew boats were stowed inverse to each other, mainly to gain space for swinging the second boat while the first one was already on deck. All in all 18 wooden supports cushioned each of the sensitive boats. A positive side effect: The cargo engineers gained more space under the keel for fixing additional cross lashings since only about a metre separated the two ships on deck. A total of 28 lashing grommets systems secured each boat.

After the loading operation’s completion the loading the vessel set sail to Bandar Abbas, the port of destination in Iran, where she arrived on February 8, 2010 and discharged her valuable deck cargo. “Due to the experience of the Beluga team and the good preparation we could finish this project in a fast and very satisfactory manner to everybody involved”, concludes Eduard Lopkov.

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