Saturday, December 19, 2015

Breaux Tide working, not so Jones Tide - updated 2015-12-23

Support vessels for Shell's offshore drilling program come and go on a regular basis - that is until recently. Today Breaux Tide was backing in to pier 9B where Skandi Flora had been tied up, however sister supplier, Jones Tide has been sitting idle.

I hear that Jones Tide (owned by Tidewater, and bareboat chartered to Atlantic Towing) is off charter due to some unfortunate problems with its Dynamic Positioning System. DP is  used to hold a ship in position using sophisticated satellite navigation instrumentation, tied to the ship's propulsion controls. Something went wrong with Jones Tide's DP however and it "contacted" the drill ship Stena Icemax on two occasions. The nature of the contact is not known to me, and there is no visible evidence of it on Jones Tide- Even so it is not supposed to happen at all.

No doubt repairs are underway, but there will have to be a trials period before it can resume it charter, to ensure that there is no repetition. So far there has been no sign of a replacement vessel.

Update: Jones Tide sailed Wednesday December 23, so the problems were apparently sorted out.  Strangely, Marine Traffic showed its destination as a marina in Ston, Honduras, however its course heading indicates it is heading for the Stena Icemanx.


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