Dive support vessel becomes the world’s first to be awarded a notation for mitigation against Covid-type infectious diseases
In recognition of the efforts made to mitigate the risk and spread of Covid-type diseases, Tasik Subsea’s Southern Star has become the first ship in the world to receive IDM-A (Infectious Disease Mitigation – Arrangements) class notation from ABS.
Used for IRM/IRRM and SURF installation, light and medium construction and deepwater intervention, the DP3 dive support vessel’s (DSV) IDM-A notation signifies that plans have been prepared to prevent any outbreak and, if that is not successful, mitigate any impact caused by Covid-type diseases. Those plans provide critical guidance on effective preparation, prevention and management protocols.
Built to ABS class by Fujian Mawei Shipbuilding, the 112-m DSV has met the requirements outlined in the ABS Guide for Mitigation of Infectious Disease Transmission on Board Marine and Offshore Assets, which was developed from a range of independent governmental and commercial guidance, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and published in November 2020.
ABS senior vice president global engineering and technology Patrick Ryan says “The notation breaks new ground for the industry, allowing operators and owners to clearly demonstrate that the risks of infectious outbreaks have been considered.” Mr Ryan adds “Ensuring marine and offshore assets are operationally resilient to the impacts of infectious diseases is vital today and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.”
Singapore-based Tasik Subsea says Southern Star has proved to ABS surveyors that it has developed detailed procedures to: deal with crew changes to prevent infectious diseases entering the ship; contain any disease should there be an outbreak; and evacuate any serious cases for treatment. It has also designed a safety ‘citadel’ within the ship by modifying the HVAC systems, changing exhaust air routes, changing taps to hands free and segregating the citadel by doors. This allows cabins to be rapidly converted to isolation spaces.
Tasik chief executive John Giddens was delighted the company’s Covid plans, started at the outset of the pandemic and continually refined, had been acknowledged by ABS. “Like many others, we realised an outbreak of Covid on board our vessel would be a personal and commercial disaster for our crew, our clients and for our company.” Mr Giddens notes an outbreak would “result in stopping the vessel’s work and forcing it to a quarantine anchorage for an extended period, with no movement of people on or off the vessel while the medical issues for our marine and project crew were dealt with.”
Mr Giddens says Tasik Subsea has been carefully managing its operations and implementing measures to protect crew and vessels from Covid-19 since early last year. “We are pleased to now be able to benchmark our measures against an ABS class standard and are proud to be the first in the world to achieve the IDM-A Class notation,” he says.
He adds that the effort would not have been achieved without the diligent assistance of ABS, the support of its client, Shelf Subsea and the ship manager, Thome Offshore, who worked diligently on the hard and soft issues.
ABS vice president, South Pacific region, global business development Pier Carazzai says the notation provides confidence for operators on managing their offshore operations in a pandemic. “Given the environment on marine and offshore assets is restricted, infectious diseases have the potential to spread rapidly,” he says.
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