Bibby gets stranded workers home for Christmas

Liverpool maritime business Bibby Marine rescues hundreds of gas platform workers stranded in the North Sea and gets them home for Christmas. Tony McDonough reports

Bibby Marine’s offshore support vessel Bibby WaveMaster 1


Bibby Marine has sent its Bibby WaveMaster 1 (BWM1) offshore support vessel to the North Sea to ferry hundreds of gas platform workers home for Christmas.

Around 300 Total Energies workers were unable to leave the Tyra gas field off Denmark via their usual method of helicopter due to poor weather. Part of Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group, Bibby Marine sent BWM1 to the rescue.

It is a walk-to-work service operation vessel (SOV) with a motion compensated gangway that allows the safe transfer of technicians from offshore platforms.

It has transported 423 workers (228 inbound and 195 outbound) so far, transferring them between the Tyra field and Esbjerg. The vessel will continue working for a three-week period on this charter.

BWM1 vessel manager, Marcus Brady, said: “Our walk-to-work SOVs are specifically designed to be able to transfer crew safely even in some of the harsher conditions found in the North Sea.

“We are delighted to be able to assist Total Energies and ultimately get some of their technicians home in time for Christmas.”

Bibby Marine currently operates two SOVs which have both come into service in the last few years. They are floating powerhouses that provide support for offshore facilities such as wind farms and gas and oil fields.

Each vessel generates 6-7 MW of power. In the course of a year both vessels will use enough energy to power 800 homes and 18m miles of car journeys. This adds up to around 14,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

In order to reduce its carbon footprint in the coming years Bibby Marine has secured Government funding to develop a new low carbon vessel, future-proofed to use different methods of propulsion.

Bibby Line Group is one of Liverpool’s oldest businesses. It was established as a shipping company in Liverpool in 1807.

Based at Exchange Flags in the city centre it is now a diverse International business. Still owned by the Bibby family, it employs around 1,300 in multiple countries across financial services, marine and infrastructure support.

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