Performing first ship-to-ship transfer off Ireland

Fendercare Marine completed the first ship-to-ship (STS) transfer off the coast of Belfast last week.

The operation was unusually requested by the owners of Genmar Companion following a discovery of a crack in the deck of the vessel en-route from Rotterd.

The Genmar Companion had sheltered off Copeland Islands since 16 December having been refused entry into Cork to conduct the necessary repairs to the deck. The vessel was carrying 54,000 tonnes of vacuum gas oil that needed to be transferred to another vessel prior to entering Belfast Harbour and the owners therefore contracted specialist STS operators Fendercare Marine.

"This was a standard operation for us",

Commented Keith Loffstadt, vice chairman of Fendercare Marine.

"We had planned to start the transfer on 1 January but the operation was delayed due to bad weather and high winds in the region. On 6 January the weather improved enough to ensure a safer transfer of cargo and allowed the operation to take place within our environmental parameters."

Fendercare Marine used one of their most experienced mooring masters, George Mills, who has been a marine pilot for over 25 years.

"The vessels used in this operation were of a similar size which is an unusual situation, but we only complete transfers within strict limits to ensure we maintain out exceptionally high health and safety record. With the cargo safely transferred, the Genmar companion will be able to effect necessary repairs by docking in Belfast."

Fendercare Marine is one of the world's most experienced ship-to-ship (STS) operators and complete such operations world-wide on a daily basis. Based in Seething, Norfolk, last year alone it managed 3,500 transfers from it's 30 global bases for a variety of clients including oil majors and independent oil traders.

In addition to providing STS operations, Fendercare Marine is one of the world's leading suppliers of marine equipment and services, including the renowned Yokohama fenders that are used in all their STS operations. A member of James Fisher and Sons plc, Fendercare has a diverse and expanding portfolio of equipment and services operating in the marine and offshore industries worldwide. With a turnover in 2011 near £110 million, Fendercare Marine is a truly global company with offices in Africa, Australia, the Far East, South America and the Middle East.

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