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Mini-ship Green Isle Begins Work In Pentland Firth

23rd August 2015

Photograph of Mini-ship Green Isle Begins Work In Pentland Firth

The most modern vessel in the Far North of Scotland's 'marine renewables' fleet is conducting debut operations in the Pentland Firth's Inner Sound this week. (commences 24.08.15).

The brand-new many-purpose mini-ship Green Isle is being accompanied on her mission off Canisbay by the survey vessel Lodesman, that has been a regular visitor to Gills Harbour this year.

The 27.7-metre long Green Isle was delivered 'in record time' earlier this summer to her owners Green Marine UK Ltd, of Stromness, Orkney from the Damen Shipyards, in the Netherlands.

The powerful rectangular-shaped steel craft is technically a Multi-cat 2712 with several special design features specified by Green Marine UK for her planned career at assisting in installing and recovering tidal and wave energy devices, seabed surveying, moving 'heavy-lift' barges and general towing operations; she has a maximum registered 'bollard pull' of almost 35 tonnes.

In an official 'Notice to Mariners' Green Marine UK state that between 24.08.15 and 26.08.15 Green Isle is contracted to MeyGen Ltd for recovery of small items from the recently-surveyed precise route planned for laying cables on the seabed of the Inner Sound from the company's landfall at Ness of Quoys, Canisbay, to the locations off Stroma Island where the four pioneering, electricity-generations 'tidal turbines' are due to be installed next year (2016).

Cable-laying operations are planned for next month; the sheathed cable-lines will be 'weighted-down' on the seafloor from the turbine sites to a location c. 600 metres off the Canisbay headland.

From there, the cables for carrying electricity will the 'threaded through' one of four ducts directionally-drilled from the shore earlier this summer, so that the cables are not exposed to chaffing due to wave actions on coastal rocks.

Tasks for the Green Isle's crew include recovering stainless-steel 'holders' for ADCPs (Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers) previously installed on the TSC (Turbines Subsea Cables) route on the 35 metre-deep swept-bare Caithness flagstone floor of the narrow 1.5 miles-wide channel separating Stroma, Caithness's only island, from the Canisbay shoreline.

Green Marine Ltd's MD is Skipper Jason Schofield, a member of the well-known Sinclair fishing family from Stromness, Orkney; his father-in-law Skipper Angus Sinclair at one time owned and operated Orcades Viking, then the UK's biggest trawler.

Green Isle is being accompanied on the task by Lodesman, a specialist vessel in underwater Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) tasks, owned by Roving Eye Enterprises, of Orphir on Scapa Flow, Orkney.

Its boss, Mr Keith Bichan sent a 'support' letter to Gills Harbour Ltd, the community company that owns and operates Gills Harbour, backing its plans to enhance the facilities at its Inner Basin to allow safe overnight berthing and all-tides access for workboats, such as powerful little multi-cats.

It had been intended to hand-deliver the letter last week to Scottish Energy Minister Rt. Hon. Fergus Ewing MSP, but his visits to the MeyGen Ness of Quoys site and Gills Harbour had to be postponed because thick fog over Caithness made landings impossible at Wick John O'Groats Airport.

Arrangements are being made to send it on during this coming week.

 

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