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Ocean Safety completes commercial ferries servicing ahead of Easter rush

Pont Aven in snow
The UK’s largest independent marine safety equipment supplier, Ocean Safety, has just completed two major ferry safety servicing schedules on time for the start of the holiday season, a period which saw a significant rise in traffic across the English Channel, and to the Isle of Wight.

Ocean Safety has completed a major service of liferafts and lifejackets on all the Wightlink ferries between the UK’s south coast and the Isle of Wight. The company has also fulfilled an intensively busy refit on the Brittany Ferries vessel Pont Aven.

Richard Besse of Ocean Safety explains: “These refits involve long hours and complex logistics. They have to be carried out ‘on the run’ with the ferries still in service. Passenger capacities are reduced while we remove a percentage of the equipment in turn, so it is important that it is done at a time of the year when passenger traffic is naturally lower, and imperative that it is completed on time.”

“In the case of Pont Aven the work had to be carried out in time for the February half term period when capacity increases. A logistical expertise, and understanding of shipowner schedules and requirements have to be applied when time scales are tight,” he adds.

Each 100 person liferaft has to be craned off the vessel in turn and removed to Ocean Safety’s service station in Southampton, where it takes several days to check and replace equipment, and a full day to re-install. The capacity of Pont Aven, which services the Plymouth to Roscoff, Santander and Cork routes, is 2400 passengers. Ocean Safety also services the rescue boats while trial deployments of the equipment may also have to be carried out.

“Time scales are immense,” adds Richard Besse, “and sailing schedules can change due to weather conditions, which can add further pressure to logistical schedules.”

Ocean Safety works closely with its commercial liferaft partners DBC Marine and Zodiac. All work is carried out according to the latest IMO legislation and manufactures requirements.

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