Challenge of Ferries on the Move

The 'Mirina Express' required extensive preparation for its repositioning voyage from Greece to Chile.

Following the delivery voyages of the fast ferry ' Tallink Autoexpress 2' and the ' Coastal Renaissance' , Netherlands based Global ship delivery and crewing specialist Redwise Marine Services BV is currently delivering the second newbuilding ferry from BC Ferries, the ' Coastal Inspiration' , from Flensburg (Germany) to Vancouver (Canada) and, simultaneously, the 1991 built former Greek inter-island Ferry ' Mirina Express' from Piraeus (Greece) to Talcahuano (Chile).

Both ferries have been designed for a specific local operating area and had been classed accordingly.The parties involved with the Coastal Inspiration, builders Flensburg Schiffbau Geselschaft MbH, classification society ABS, future owners BC Ferries, the flag state and Redwise, went jointly through a process of risk analysis, voyage planning, weather data analysing, consideration of anticipated vessel behavior in the anticipated weather and sea state, together with practical issues such as meeting Panama Canal requirements with temporary arrangements and obtaining the Panama Canal transit approval well in advance, as well as dispensations and voyage exemptions due to the nature of the vessel and the compliance with the additional requirements that had to be met to ensure a safe transit of the Coastal Inspiration.

The actual transit is being conducted under management from Redwise, with BC ferry crews participating for familiarisation purposes and FSG warranty engineers on board to ensure that the vessel arrives in optimum condition in Vancouver.

The Mirina Express posed a completely different challenge. This vessel, classed by Hellenic Register for local operations, had to meet international legislation insofar as reasonable and practical for a single repositioning voyage of an existing vessel, whereby certain features could not be incorporated during the building.

The vessel was inspected thoroughly with the new owners Naviera Austral S.A. of Chile and was brought up to SOLAS and GMDSS requirements with the inclusion of the mobile Sat C of Redwise. New stability data were computed, overhauls conducted and safety features such as additional bilge alarms and bilge pumps were installed, along with the normal tasks of changing names, port of registry on the vessel, life buoys and rafts, conducting crew familiarizations, drills, ISM and ISPS certification, and extensive testing of the equipment following the lay-up period of the vessel prior to the purchase by Redwise's clients. Upon completion of the re-activation, new certificates were obtained and following satisfactory sea trials with the underwriter's surveyor in attendance, the vessel  sailed for its new home port in Chile with a complete Redwise crew.

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