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Diving daughter craft systems – safety line for divers

Sep 30th 2014 at 6:52 AM

Conducting diving operations that are not easily accessible by larger DSVs is possible with daughter craft systems. The system is deployed off a mother vessel for inspection, whereas a decompression chamber positioned on the mother vessel offers needed support to the diving operation while ensuring safety.

The daughter craft ensures successful operations when conventional diving DSV finds it difficult to position itself nearby an FPSO or Offshore Platform. An additional support craft backs the daughter craft and aids in transferring supplies and personnel during operations. Surface supplied diving systems are fitted to the daughter craft, which is also capable of supporting Nitrox and/or air diving operations. Davits for the daughtercraft and support equipment including gas storage, compressors and decompression chamber outfit the mother vessel in the process.

An industry leader like Unique Hydra, a Unique Maritime Group company offers two designs for the daughter craft - HYDRACraft 1500 15m (10 man) and HYDRACraft 1400 14m (8 man). The designs consider features and attributes needed for safe diving operations.

The daughtercraft system comes in handy with several advantages, such as:

It reduces risk to the offshore asset as the DP vessels are not needed to be in close proximity for diving operations.

As compared to diving from a DP vessel, it reduces risk to divers as it is free from DP failure/drift off, long umbilical excursions and vessel intake/thrusters hazards.

Minimal equipment is needed to be installed on the mother vessel, platform or barge as daughtercraft and hence, decrease in mobilization times is noted. Also, time consumption is less in set up, auditing and testing of craft prior to taking mother vessel on charter.

A shallow keel ensures daughter craft is highly maneuverable, and can efficiently access areas around structures that larger DP vessels fail to do owing to risk of damage to risers, anchor chains or umbilicals.

The craft can be positioned directly over the divers worksite with an easy mooring option to the structure. Therefore, quicker access to worksite is ensured for efficient processes.

In general terms, Daughtercrafts are considered as offshore workboats and hence are certified under the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA). As they are not considered as fast rescue crafts, lifeboats or man-overboard boats, they are not needed to undergo SOLAS certification. However, it is ideal to use daughter crafts that are certified in order to ensure diver safety.

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