Game changer in crew supply recognised for innovative approach

Aqua Helix, the Damen Fast Crew Supplier (FCS) 7011 with Ampelmann motion compensated gangway integrated in the 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, while the Axe Bow will reduce slamming and pitching considerably, keeping passengers fit and comfortable. This is how Aqua Helix provides fast offshore crew transport in comfort. 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 at destination well rested. The motion compensated Ampelmann gangway makes boarding and offboarding at sea, when the ship is stationary alongside a platform, very safe and easy. The gangway will not move but stay fixed in front of the platform to make the step from structure to ship secure. OceanXpress, a joint venture of Damen Shipyards Group and Ampelmann, is managing Aqua Helix for crewing transport solutions from the Dutch shore to North Sea offshore installations.

Weight reduction is key if a ship needs to sail at high speed. The FCS 7011 is built in aluminium. The Ampelmann gangway foundation would normally add a lot of weight to the vessel. To reduce this, the foundation structure of the stabilized gangway is integrated into the vessel structure. More weight reduction is achieved by increasing the hull sides upwards along the accommodation decks, so they add to structural strength. This way, less heavy structural beams are necessary. 

The combination of clever engineering and integration of components and equipment into the structure, in order to achieve a very fast and yet smoothly sailing vessel capable of high speed, while all of this aims to set 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. To go from nominee to winner is decided by popular vote. It is the OSJ readership that decides which of the nominees will become the winner.