Diving bell ship Carl Straat (2)_lowres

Damen to Build Diving Bell Ship for WSA Koblenz

WSA Koblenz (WasserSchiffahrtsAmbt) has awarded Damen Shipyards Group a contract to build a new diving bell ship. 

The ship will succeed an existing vessel – the Carl Straat, which has been in operation since 1963. The new vessel, like its predecessor, will operate in the River Rhine and its tributaries.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Hans-Heinrich Witte, President of the Directorate General for WSA Koblenz, said, ‘On the Rhine and its tributaries, this special vessel is needed to search for and recover lost cargo or wreckage. In addition, it will be used for important work on the river bed or for construction inspections.’

Barrel Anchors and Sampling

The ship can also be used to produce barrel anchors in the gravel or rocky area and to carry out sampling by drilling with nitrogen icing. The modern diving bell system, including the lifting device, makes it possible for the ship to be able to travel on the Rhine and its tributaries and to operate without lowering the water level.

Once in a Lifetime

Damen Project Manager Marius van Wijngaarden said: ‘This is such a special vessel. Really a one of a kind in the world and also, keeping in mind the old Carl Straat is almost sixty years old, this is a once in a lifetime work experience.’

EU Stage V

Due to the proven suitability of the Carl Straat, the new vessel will draw heavily on its predecessor. Damen will, however, apply the latest technology to the new vessel to ensure its suitability for the years to come. The new ship will be equipped with high-performance diesel-electric propulsion compliant with EU stage V standards and guaranteeing a constant cruising speed of 13 km/h. With a total length of 69 m, the ship will be 17 m longer than the Carl Straat.

Damen will construct the vessel at Damen Shipyards Hardinxveld and has scheduled to deliver it to the client in 2020.

Picture: The current Carl Straat.

Author: Mariska Buitendijk

Mariska Buitendijk is one of SWZ|Maritime's journalists as well as the magazine's copy editor.

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