Solent Guardian naming ceremony marks fleet of CSVs complete
On Monday 16th September Briggs Marine and the UK’s Environment Agency held a naming ceremony at Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth for the last of their fleet of coastal survey vessels, the Solent Guardian.
Speaking at the event Roger Proudfoot, Marine Monitoring Service Manager at the Environment Agency said “Briggs Marine provide us (the Environment Agency) with an excellent marine vessel service which enables us to cover a wide range of duties in estuarine and coastal waters; from wavebuoy deployment with the larger “Guardian” coastal survey vessels, through to smaller rapid response vessels for fisheries enforcement duties. The vessels carry out a wide range of monitoring duties including water quality, ecological status assessments and bathymetric surveys. With the support of Briggs Marine we have managed to rationalise our fleet of marine vessels, maintaining flexibility, with an enhanced capability to carry out a wider range of tasks. The new vessels have also facilitated collaborative working with a wide range of organisations, a key business efficiency driver from government.”
Under the terms of the 15-year contract, the new vessels replace the smaller, monohull crafts, which had been in service for more than 20 years. They are owned, operated and crewed by Briggs Marine and are available to the Environment Agency for 16 days of each month. They are then available for charter by third parties for the remaining days, although flexibility is built in for the Environment Agency to take more days as determined by evolving demand.
In collaboration with Briggs Marine and Australia’s Incat Crowther, Solent Guardian is the fourth 18.3m catamaran built by Mustang Marine. The four vessels are based to operate regionally around the UK coastline, with Solent Guardian now deployed on the South Coast, Humber Guardian on the East Coast from above the Thames Estuary to Aberdeen, Severn Guardian covering from Lands End to North Wales, and Mersey Guardian extending coverage up to the Hebrides. Thames Guardian, a similar but smaller 14.5m vessel, covers the River Thames and its estuary.
Designed for their primary role as Coastal Survey Vessels, they provide safe and effective platforms for carrying out a wide range of marine survey duties. As well as the large working deck, they are equipped with wet and dry laboratory spaces, comfortable mess and galley areas and three twin cabins for live aboard accommodation.
General Manager of Marine Services at Briggs, Rob Baker said “This is an exciting project which has required close cooperation between Briggs, the Environment Agency and Mustang Marine to develop a platform capable of delivering the UK`s statutory monitoring programme for the next 15 years”.
For more information and a full specification of the vessels, please visit http://www.briggsmarine.com/marine/vessel-charter/survey-boats/