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Successful Sea Trials of FEB-I

In collaboration with “Ærø Søredningsforening” and “Dansk Søredningsselskab” (both lifeboat institutions – saving lives at sea), FLEX-FEB carried out several sea trials of the flexible environmental protection barge, FEB-I, off Marstal in the southern part of Denmark in the period 11 - 13 APR 2022. The purpose of the sea trials was to test FEB-I and the functional equipment under realistic conditions, and preferably on the edge of the constraints, and identify possible design faults, necessary adjustments and / or improvements of FEB-I and functional equipment.

Prior to the sea trials, FEB-I's electrical systems were mounted and prepared in the designated cargo holds, and functional equipment and accessories (oil booms, surface skimmer, baffles, deck plates, scepters, moorings, and fenders etc.) were stored in FEB-I's holding tank, while the environmental protection barge was stored at Søby Shipyard.

The transport from Søby Værft to Marstal Harbor took place by ordinary truck, which easily handled loading and unloading, thanks to FEB-I’s 20 ’container format, and a total weight, including functional equipment and accessories of just 1,300 kg.

In Marstal Harbor, FEB-I was unloaded on the quay, and after a short instruction, volunteers from “Ærø Søredningsforening” and “Dansk Søredningsselskab” rigged the FEB-I quickly with functional equipment and accessories, after which it was launched from the quay using the truck's crane.

Towing of FEB-I from Marstal Harbor to and from the test area in the waters between the islands of Aeroe and Strynø in the southern part of Denmark took place with the rescue vessel ERRIA operated by “Ærø Søredningsforening”. In fresh winds (8 - 10 m / s) and waves of up to 0.5 m, FEB-I could be towed without problems with the surface skimmer mounted aft at a speed of 2.5 knots with wind and sea from changing directions.

In the test area, a series of tests were carried out before FEB-I was rigged with two oil booms (one on each side) and towed with the oil booms against the wind by ERRIA and a RIB from “Dansk Søredningsselskab”, while the surface skimmer collected water and popcorn (instead of oil) from ​​surface of the sea.

FEB-I rigged and launched in Marstal Harbor prior to the sea trials.

FEB-I is towed to the test area by ERRIA

FEB-I with oil booms on board.

Oil booms are mounted to the bow of the FEB-I and being connected to a RIB.

Two vessels towing FEB-I by the oil booms and circumnavigating the pollution while the surface skimmer collects contaminated water from the sea surface.

FEB-I back in Marstal Harbor and ready for pick-up after successful sea trials.

Both FEB-I and the functional equipment performed the sea trials well, which confirms that the concept of one or more flexible environmental protection barges operated together with already available vessels is just right. At the same time, some opportunities for improvements were also identified, which was precisely the purpose of FEB-I as a test platform and the tests at sea.

The successful completion of the sea trials was very much due to the volunteer rescuers from “Ærø Søredningsforening” and “Dansk Søredningsselskab”, who made a valuable contribution - just as they do when sailors are in distress in the inner Danish waters. FLEX-FEB owes them a big thank you for their participation in the development of the world's first flexible environmental barge.


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