When SEACOR Marine designed the next generation of “fastest in the oil patch” Fast Support Vessel (FSV), it did not anticipate the vessel would be supporting recovery efforts in Puerto Rico. Along with many U.S. oilfield service vessels, the FSV Liam J. McCall is now transporting critical supplies and equipment to the stricken island. With a full load of deck cargo and communications specialists, the vessel sped to Puerto Rico, making the 1,200-mile voyage from Miami in a near record-breaking 36-hour transit.
John Gellert, CEO of SEACOR Marine Holdings Inc. (SEACOR Marine) commented, “With offshore oil and gas production pushing into deeper water and farther from shore bases, we designed our latest series of ‘Comfort Class’ FSVs with rider-friendly airline-style first class seats, entertainment amenities for passengers, and unparalleled speed of 38-40 knots. Our goal was to offer a cost-effective alternative to helicopters and still retain flexibility to move vital cargo.”
“We knew this would become a critical tool for transporting personnel and equipment to deep water oil and gas facilities. These trips to Puerto Rico establish their benefit in emergency response. With the Liam J. McCall being one of the fastest vessels in our fleet, we are glad its speed could translate into expediting delivery of critical infrastructure equipment to help restore communications in Puerto Rico. No other offshore support vessel could have delivered these supplies as quickly as the Liam.”
SEACOR Marine has been a pioneer in the fast movement of personnel and cargo. Originally known as “crew boats”, aluminum vessels used to move offshore workers and light cargo to nearby production platforms. For many years the primary evolution was to build bigger vessels. The new generation FSVs focus on creature comforts, are designed for long trips, and can handle over 300 long tons on an open deck of over 3,000 ft2. SEACOR Marine has four ‘Comfort Class’ vessels and six ‘CrewZer Class’ catamarans in service with speeds from 38-42 knots. Four additional ‘Comfort Class’ vessels are under construction and will join the fleet in the next two years.
Gellert continued, “These vessels offer our customers a more cost efficient, comfortable, flexible, and safe option to helicopters. They have Ride Control technology (stabilizers), Dynamic Positioning Class 2 (“DP2”) with full system redundancy, interiors with airline style ‘pod’ seating, full internet connectivity, and LED lighting. We are now transporting over 30,000 offshore workers per month in West Africa, the Middle East, North Sea, Mexico, and the United States.”
Captain Bobby Soileau, who has made two trips to Puerto Rico on the Liam J. McCall, when asked about the trips commented, “These vessels are no longer a traditional crew boat. With the nice reclining seats, this vessel is very comfortable for our passengers. With Ride Control and stabilizers onboard we can comfortably maintain good speed, even in rough seas, which is good for the crew, good for the passengers, and good for the cargo. I asked our guests about the ride and they all said it was comfortable.” Chris Nance, Chief Engineer on the Liam J. McCall, added, “The last passage averaged 25+ knots even though at times we were slicing through 6-8 foot seas.”
Source: Seacor Marine