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Worldwide first for Bibby Offshore as it completes Hyperbaric Evacuation Trials on entire diving support vessel fleet

Subsea installation contractor Bibby Offshore announces today the successful completion of hyperbaric evacuation trials across its entire Diving Support Vessel (DSV) fleet. 

Bibby Offshore is the only company worldwide to carry out this procedure on its entire fleet, which includes the Bibby Sapphire, Polaris and Topaz, and the only diving contractor with audited outcomes using performance based standards for this level of contingency planning.

The trials involved mating a Self-Propelled Hyperbaric Lifeboat from the DSV to a Portable Hyperbaric Reception Facility onshore, deployed by Mimir Marine.

The onshore facility is specifically designed to accept divers transferred from the isolation of a lifeboat in the event of vessel abandonment. Specialist technicians from Mimir Marine were also present to support the hyperbaric evacuation training exercise.

Nigel Kenrick, Diving and Dive Systems Operations Manager at Bibby Offshore said: “We are fully committed to being a leader in diver safety in this industry and the successful completion of the evacuation trials confirms that we are exceptionally prepared to receive an SPHL operationally, should an evacuation situation arise.

“We successfully completed a trial on the Bibby Sapphire in August last year, with commendation from diving authorities within two major oil and gas operators. This latest trial confirms that our SPHL evacuation plans meet the required standard across our entire DSV fleet.”

The recent trial involved a simulated dockside rescue of divers from the Topaz hyperbaric lifeboat. This was the first time Bibby Offshore had trialled with the Bibby Topaz lifeboat and the simulated transfer of the divers was completed within three hours of the lifeboat arriving on the quayside.

Bibby Offshore’s Chief Executive Howard Woodcock said: “Evacuation contingency plans must run like clockwork and the repeatability of these exercises enhances their strength. To ensure that we are able to respond as quickly as possible, we have taken a proactive and unique approach to our evacuation planning strategy by mating different lifeboats from different vessels in a number of dockside locations. Safety of our staff is imperative to Bibby Offshore and we are proud to be the first company internationally to have completed this essential trial on the entire fleet.”

Bibby Offshore recently hosted a visit from the Minister of State for Energy, Rt. Hon. Michael Fallon MP, as part of a fact-finding mission on the subsea sector of the oil and gas industry, in conjunction with the Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Michael Fallon was recently appointed as the Minister of State for Energy to combine with his role as Minister of State for Business and Enterprise in the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills On his first visit to Aberdeen, the Minister joined Sir Michael Bibby, managing director of Liverpool-based Bibby Line Group and senior representatives from Bibby Offshore for a tour of its Aberdeen headquarters, Ocean Spirit House.

Mr Woodcock continued: “Ministerial visits are exceptionally important for the continued investment in the development of the energy industry and we are delighted to have had the opportunity to welcome a senior minister from the UK cabinet.”

Bibby Offshore currently has more than 1,000 people working onshore and offshore worldwide, with offices in Aberdeen, Liverpool, Singapore and Trinidad. It recently added two new vessels to the fleet and continues to expand its subsea construction, engineering and project delivery services.