Damen FCS 7011 Aqua Helix nominated Offshore Energy Vessel of the Year

Game changer in crew supply recognised for innovative approach

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Aqua Helix, the Damen Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011 with the Ampelmann S-type motion compensated gangway integrated into its structure, has been nominated for the Offshore Energy Vessel of the Year Award 2022. Operating along North Sea offshore platforms, the FCS 7011 is set to revolutionise crew transport, providing great comfort at impressive speed.

The FCS 7011 can sail at speeds up to 40 knots, even on rough seas. The Axe Bow will reduce slamming and pitching considerably, keeping passengers fit and comfortable. This is how Aqua Helix provides fast and comfortable offshore crew transport. The vessel has a 120 passenger capacity. All of the passengers get a roomy, adjustable chair with thick cushions to be able to relax and arrive well rested at their destination. The Ampelmann integrated motion compensated gangway makes boarding and offboarding at sea, as easy as crossing the street. The electrically powered hexapod platform of the gangway ensures stability in sea states up to 3 meter of significant wave height and allows crew and personnel to walk to work safely and efficiently. OceanXpress, a joint venture of Damen Shipyards Group and Ampelmann, is managing Aqua Helix for crewing transport solutions from the Dutch shore to offshore installations in the North Sea.

Weight reduction is key if a ship needs to sail at high speed. The slender hull of the FCS 7011 is built in aluminium. The quest for lightweight construction has led to increasing the hull sides upwards along the accommodation decks, so they add to structural integrity. This way, less heavy structural beams are necessary.  By fully integrating the foundation of the gangway into the vessel structure, the total weight of the ship is further reduced, allowing for greater speeds.

Clever engineering and the integration of the gangway and equipment into the vessels structure has resulted in a very fast, comfortable and smooth sailing vessel capable of high speeds. This achievement, together with the aims of setting new standards in crew transport, made the editorial team of the Offshore Support Journal decide to nominate Aqua Helix for Offshore energy Vessel of the Year 2022. The OSJ readership will decide by popular vote which of the nominees will become the winner.

The award ceremony will be held on Wednesday 15th of June during a gala dinner following the first day of the two-day Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference and Exhibition. Damen will also present a lecture on the development of a range of Support Operation Vessels during this conference. Voting for the shortlisted vessels and nominees in the 11 categories of the Annual Offshore Support Journal Awards 2022 is possible until 18 May at the Awards website: OSJ Awards 2022 Voting!