New job for converted rescue cruiser

The former Vormann Steffens continues Rostock’s fire-fighting tradition The former Vormann Steffens continues Rostock’s fire-fighting tradition
Industry Database

A former German sea rescue cruiser has begun a second life after conversion into the fire-fighting ship 'Albert Wegener' for Port of Rostock authorities, reports Tom Todd.

The conversion and refit of the 27.5m by 6.53m rescue cruiser Vormann Steffens into the Albert Wegener came after the City of Rostock bought the 29 year old boat from the German sea rescue service DGzRS for €400,000 in late 2017 after its de-commissioning.

Conversion costing  €2.7 million was carried out by Tamsen-Maritim Werft in Rostock. Rostock spokesman Stefan Kieckhoefer told Maritime Journal the yard was well-known for its experience in building and maintaining DGzRS boats. It is, in fact, currently building new boats for the service.

Modifications to Vormann Steffens, which draws 1.9m, have included the complete renewal of the propulsion system at a cost of €200,000 according to Rostock. The Albert Wegener propulsion configuration now comprises two Scania DI 13-077M TIER 11-Norm main engines each of 515kW/2300 rpm and ZF 500 gearing.The engines are equipped with a Scania engine management system ensuring performance control and are also said to have low exhaust emissions and good fuel economy.

The conversion of Vormann Steffens also included new automation and communication systems, a new bridge, signal mast and a fire-fighting container with working platform. The stern slipway was adjusted to accommodate a small lifeboat and the fire-fighting system was enhanced. It now carries water cannon on both sides and in the bow with a pump capacity of 2,200m3/h. Tamsen also repainted the boat, classified DNV-GL for international operation.

Rostock officials said the conversion was the most cost-favourable option. Rostock’s old fire-fighting ship, FLB 40-3 D, is 35 years old and would have cost too much to upgrade. The DGzRS boat was already of a high technical standard, they said.

The introduction of the Albert Wegener in Rostock “continues a tradition lasting decades during which … the city has always had a fire-fighting boat standing by”, Stefan Kieckhoefer said.

The new boat will be used for saving lives, fighting fires and for protecting the environment. It will see service not only in the busy Port of Rostock, handling about 28 million tons a year, but also along the River Warnow and in the coastal waters of the nearby Baltic Sea.

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