‘Safe Bristolia’ running loose in North Sea

Safe Bristolia

The article has been updated to include a statement by Prosafe

One of Prosafe’s semi-submersible accommodation vessels is running loose in the UK North Sea and Prosafe is trying to regain control of it after a towline connecting it to a tugboat snapped on Sunday. 

According to the Norwegian news website Aftenbladet, the incident occurred due to high waves on Sunday morning while the flotel was being towed by the Norwegian-registered vessel Sea Lynx from England to Poland.

Aftenbladet also reports that the flotel, with 33 people currently on board, is located around 120 km from the coastal town of Montrose in Scotland.

Safe Bristolia was built in 1983 to a Sedco 602 design and converted to an accommodation vessel in 2006. Further refit and modification works were completed in 2008 to meet UKCS regulations for operations in the UK North Sea.

Safe Bristolia offers accommodation for 316 (UKCS) to 588 persons. She can operate in benign and moderately harsh environments.

Offshore Energy Today reported earlier this morning that Prosafe has gained an extension of the firm hire duration for one of its flotels from the Norwegian oil giant Statoil due to a change in the schedule of Statoil’s Mariner project.

In an e-mail to Offshore Energy Today, Prosafe’s spokesperson said: “The Safe Bristolia was being relocated from Cromarty Firth to Gdansk (Poland) when the towing line parted on 3rd January at 07:46. The marine crew [POB 33] onboard are all accounted for and are preparing for the recovery operation.”

The spokesperson clarified the situation by adding: “The Safe Bristolia is a semi-submersible accommodation vessel, which when in operation is moored by eight anchors. We are monitoring the situation continuously, and can, if necessary, drop one or more anchors to stop further drifting. However, since the vessel is in open water east of Scotland and the original tow vessel is still in attendance, it is more convenient to wait and try to re-establish the tow. Prosafe have secured a second anchor handling vessel that is currently en route to support the recovery operation.

Regarding the re-attachment of the flotel, the spokesperson said: “Weather conditions are gradually improving and we estimate that we will attempt to re-establish the tow tomorrow, Tuesday, 5th January.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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