Port praise and confidence underlined as top class offshore wind vessel launches in Grimsby

By Grimsby Telegraph | Posted: 6 Apr 2017

THE latest multi-million pound vessel launch for the burgeoning offshore wind industry saw the operator spell out confidence in the chosen Port of Grimsby.

CWind Phantom, a 27m craft – at the top of the class for crew transfers from ship to turbine – was officially named by employee Catherine Whyman and blessed by Canon David Truby.

The company is based in Colchester, but has established an office in the port and now has two permanent berths for vessels.

And Lee Andrews, managing director, told how the recent buy-out of the business by Global Marine Systems Ltd had helped lift the business to a new level. “That has enabled us to move in to a bigger dimension in terms of investment and in terms of strategy, taking CWind forward,” he said.

“There has been great growth in the offshore wind industry, and we are now seeing a movement to larger scale projects and the acquisition of this vessel will enable us to put bigger projects into our scope of works. 

“It really is a great moment for us as part of CWind. We really are trying to scope up investment in the future of offshore wind. This investment shows we are serious about moving the industry forward.”

The blessing and naming of the CWind Phantom, at Humber Cruising Association, Meridian Quay, Fish Dock, Grimsby.

As reported last month, the purchase of Phantom - named by staff - expands the fleet to 18 vessels, She is the largest, measuring 27.4m by 8m.

Mr Andrews added: “It is very important to emphasise our commitment to this area. We have been here three years, we have got a presence here, we operate local contracts with local technicians from this area. 

“We know the strengths, we know that Grimsby - for the East Coast - is going to be a really big hub for offshore wind. We are here to work with everyone. We want to work with local supply chain, local partnerships, and be part of everyone’s business. There are some great companies around here.” 

For the blessing Canon Truby was “shipped in” from Derbyshire, describing it as a “great privilege,” remarking that you “don’t get to bless too many vessels in Derbyshire”. 

He asked the large gathering at Humber Cruising Association in Port of Grimsby East to “pray for blessing to be upon CWind Phantom, her crew and the offshore wind farm technicians she will carry”. 

“Reach out your hand to them, Lord, as you did to blessed Peter as he walked upon the sea," he said from on board the vessel. "Give faith to those who work at sea to know that you will never leave them and that through the rough North Sea storms, the sea sickness and lack of sleep you are present. Send your holy angel from on high to watch over her and all on board, to ward off any threat of disaster, and to guide her through the rough seas and finally back into the arms of those they love.”

DECK CEREMONY The blessing and naming of CWind Phantom, with Canon David Truby, flanked by port chaplains Jake Pass and Anne McLaren.

Lee Child, operations director, reflected on the evolution of the fleet, having started with a 10m vessel CWind Adept.

“We would possibly just about get her on the foredeck,” he said. 

Designed on the South Coast, built in Vietnam and refitted and overhauled by MMS of Hull, she has the wheelhouse above the passenger deck, equipped to carry 12, with eight crew berths below. It also features a galley and meeting room. 

“There are three sister ships, it is a very well respected design and impressive in transfer conditions,” Mr Child said, who revealed how the port’s new 200t vessel hoist was used for hull inspection prior to the decision to purchase.

He told how there were currently three CWind vessels operating out of Grimsby, serving contracts with Humber Gateway and the transmission assets for Westermost Rough.

“It is a fantastic base to operate from,” he said. “We have got good access, it is a very safe port, with good facilities.”

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