Specialised Vessel Services
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News Archive

September 2017


Selected by a world-leading seismic acquisition company, SVS GUARDSMAN was mobilized to Dakar, Senegal to carry out advance scouting and seismic escort duties for 4-weeks during September and October 2017.

Sailing ahead of the seismic acquisition vessel, her responsibilities included ensuring that the route was clear of small vessels and debris, as well as reporting any potential hazards which could interrupt the safe operation of the acoustic streamers. SVS Guardsman was also used as an emergency stand-by safety vessel and as a crew-transfer vessel for arriving and departing personnel.

Despite the challenging environment, GUARDSMAN recorded zero HSSE incidents, a testament to the professionalism of the crew onboard and the training provided to ensure that SVS crew members and operations are carried out to the highest levels of offshore industry standards.

Constructed at the Damen shipyard in Holland, GUARDSMAN is an axe-bow vessel built from aluminum which provides charterers with both fuel efficiency cost-savings as well as the capability to transit at high speeds offshore. Further, the 5-berth and 46-seat configuration allows for crew-transfers and for charterers personnel to stay onboard.

GUARDSMAN’s 75.0 m2 clear deck space also provides charterers with the real-estate to store essential equipment, use as a work space or carry out basket transfers safely.


Specialised Vessel Services has extensive experience operating in West Africa, and by working closely with local partners has successfully enabled international oil and gas companies and those working in the offshore industry, to conduct their business safely in often challenging and complex environments.

A specification sheet is available here and for enquires, please contact the SVS Chartering team for an immediate response.

January 2016


January sees two vessels deploy to completely new areas, increasing our operational capabilities and experience.

Specialised Vessel Services owns and operates a range of vessel types in both East and West Africa, including eight of Damen's modern and efficient axebow design.

Amongst them, and shown in the photograph above, is SVS Cochrane, a Damen-built, 55 metre FSIV with DP1 capability.   Cochrane deployed at the end of December in response to a short notice requirement and has steamed more than 4,000 nautical miles to begin a new charter off Uruguay in South America.

The fact that she was able to mobilise at such short notice bears testament to our high standards of care and maintenance, and the professionalism of our operations staff in making all necessary arrangements during the Christmas period.

As with all of our fleet, the configuration of cabins, seating and deck layout is modular and adaptable.  Cochrane is currently arranged with cabin accommodation for 17 Charterer’s personnel, along with 240 square metres of deck space and a cargo capacity of 225 tonnes, as well as a davit and FRC.

With a maximum speed of over 20 knots, full ballistic protection and a range of 6,000 Nautical Miles, SVS Cochrane is just one example of our modern vessel fleet, designed and built with safety and security in mind.

Separately, SVS Grenville has just departed Cape Town SA to take a film crew to the remote island of Tristan da Cunha in the South Atlantic, where she will be the floating base for the expedition's diving and filming operations in the weeks ahead.

With other new charters commencing in NIgeria, Ghana and Tanzania this month, the SVS team can reflect on what has been a very busy Christmas and New Year, and look forward to a strong performance in the year to come.

We would be pleased to discuss any potential requirements, whether in East or West Africa or much further afield for our modern and reliable fleet.

December 2016


SVS achieves a record number of new hires and contract renewals in December

Specialised Vessel Services owns and operates a range of vessel types in both East and West Africa.  Throughout an extremely challenging year for the offshore marine sector we have worked hard to sustain the highest levels of quality and safety, working in close conjunction with our clients to understand and adapt to their requirements.

This ongoing commitment, at a time when many owners have been forced to lay up vessels or to reduce the level of service they can offer, has maintained our fleet at a permanent state of readiness and available to deploy with minimal delay or cost, but with no reduction in performance or standards.

This strategy has clearly been a success with our clients, both old and new.  December and January will see over 40% of our vessels begin charters with new clients, with another 30% winning extensions to existing contracts.

We are determined to carry this level of performance into 2017 and are already seeing keen interest in our vessels for a wide range of tasks, from Uruguay in the West to Tanzania in the East.

October 2016

A Vessel Delivery with a Difference

As our company name implies, we at SVS pride ourselves on the provision and operation of a fleet of specialist and specialised vessels.  That provision has included many challenging projects – in some very testing environments – for the offshore sector.

Earlier this year we undertook a new type of vessel delivery for a completely different client; a project which tested our team’s planning and resourcefulness to new levels.

Journeys by Design (JBD) is a travel agent and holiday provider which specialise in luxury and frontier safaris in no less than 15 African countries, from North Sudan to South Africa; from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to The Seychelles.

In October this year SVS were asked to supply and deliver a 12m Sports Fishing Boat from our base in Mombasa, Kenya to one of JBD’s forward-based locations at Omorate, on the banks of the River Omo in Ethiopia.  This task comprised of a 3-day road move across Kenya, a 100km trip across Lake Turkana, a border crossing from Kenya into Ethiopia and a final leg of 50km along the Omo River, renowned for its thriving crocodile population.

The road move proved to be by far the most complex phase of the operation.  A combination of poor road surfaces and overly enthusiastic driving resulted in the flatbed lorry becoming bogged down several times.  The JCB brought in to provide the heavy lifting became pinned on the corner of the truck, and the resulting damage meant that the hydraulic components – including the steering system – could only be operated ‘one valve at a time’ with the last undamaged pipes being unscrewed, moved and re-attached each time a control lever was moved.

After three days on the road, and three nights in bush camps surrounded by curious locals and the pick of Africa’s insect life, the boat was successfully launched onto Lake Turkana and motored across to the mouth of the River Omo.

Here, in the shallow waters of the Delta, the coxswain and crew were forced to jump overboard and manhandle the boat through the maze of small creeks and channels. Not so the local guide, who remained firmly rooted onboard and reminded them several times over that this is one of the most crocodile-infested areas in all Africa.

Eventually, after a trouble free trip uo the river itself, the boat was handed over to a grateful client and the SVS team made their way back to Kenya using slightly more conventional means.


August 2016

Our Ongoing Commitment to Preserving the Marine Environment

Specialised Vessel Services is pleased to announce that it has launched a Fleet wide ‘marine debris and ghost net’ program.

In line with recommendations from the International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), SVS sees this opportunity as a great way to make a positive contribution to the ocean environment and its sea life by its sea life by clearing some of this marine debris, which is among the greatest killers in our oceans.

SVS crew members have been briefed on the guidelines to take pictures of their encounters with entangled wildlife and to retrieve fishing nets and deliver them to the dock at the next opportunity.

We have a long and demonstrable track record of working with seismic survey companies in both a chase vessel and standby vessel role, covering operations in both East and West Africa.

We are proud of our commitment to the highest standards of HSSE compliance and delivery, and we have worked closely with client companies to integrate with their own safety regimes and practices.

With our vessels and crews now firmly established and working in both West and East Africa, we are delighted that the past 12 months has seen us achieve the best HSSE performance in our history, with no significant injuries or incidents reported during many thousands of operational days at sea.

With this new initiative, we hope to play an even fuller part in preserving the unique environment which is so valuable to us all.

May 2016

The SVS Commitment to Crew Training and Workplace Safety

Since our formation in 2010, Specialised Vessel Services (SVS) has gained a well-earned reputation for the professional management and operation of our fleet. Modern, efficient ships, along with excellent crews and robust maintenance and logistic support regimes have allowed us to record reliability rates of over 99%, even in some of the most testing conditions and locations.

As well as being the most consistent and reliable vessel provider, we are also proud of our record as an employer; we have a core of long-serving Officers and Crew, and an excellent safety record across all of our operations.

In order to preserve that record, and to safeguard all of our own staff and our charterers’ personnel, we are committed to an ongoing and progressive programme of training and education in all aspects of shipboard life, with particular attention to safety and security.

This training programme includes not only our permanent management and vessel crews, but is extended to include locally-engaged crew and charterers’ embarked personnel.

The vast majority of our clients have been major Oil and Gas companies who demand the highest standards of HSSE compliance and delivery. We have consistently met and exceeded those standards, working closely with the clients to integrate with their own safety regimes and practices.

With our vessels and crews now firmly established and working in both West and East Africa, we are delighted that the past 12 months has seen us achieve the best HSSE performance in our history, with no significant injuries or incidents reported during many thousands of operational days at sea.

April 2016

Ongoing Support and Success in Cote d’Ivoire

Specialised Vessel Services continues to deliver safe, efficient and reliable vessels in support of major international exploration projects. SVS MONCK has been working in support of a major US Oil major’s drilling campaign offshore Abidjan, Ivory Coast since early 2016.

SVS MONCK is a 33M Damen Axebow, a proven and efficient design, suited to the rigours of offshore operations and capable of fulfilling a number of roles in addition to her designation as a Fast Crew Supply (FCS) Vessel. The vessel has a maximum speed of 23 knots, accommodation for 14 passengers, is equipped with a Noreq single point davit (with RHIB) and deck space for 20T of deck cargo. SVS MONCK has been on hire since delivery to SVS in 2011.

Specialised Vessel Services mobilised the vessel promptly from our regional base in Takoradi, Ghana in response to a short notice request from charterers. The vessel was cleared into Abidjan with no issues and all paperwork in order. SVS have worked closely with the Charterers and representatives from several local authorities to help them deliver their own services and achieve their objectives. As one small component of such a major project, we are proud of our important contribution in helping to maintain a safe operating environment around the drillship itself.

Safety Awareness and Risk Reduction is a fundamental part of SVS’s operating principles. The company adheres to a strict vessel audit schedule and all vessels are routinely audited to the OCIMF OVID methodology of vessel assurance. As a supplier of vessels to the Oil and Gas industry, the OGP standard is the benchmark for our operations.

Specialised Vessel Services have strengthened their capabilities in Ivory Coast by establishing a local business entity and fostering close relationships with the Port Authorities and local service providers. SVS is looking forward to developing these relationships further and see the Ivory Coast as a key region for vessel delivery and operations over the coming years.

January 2016

SVS Completes 2,500 Working Days off Nigeria & 5,000 Days off West Africa

On 8 January Specialised Vessel Services (SVS) completed 2,500 days supporting the oil and gas industry off Nigeria. SVS currently has three Damen-built Fast Support Intervention Vessels and one Offshore Utility Vessel working to major international oil companies off the Niger Delta, and is working towards further long-term charters.

The vessels - SVS Avery, SVS Hawkins, SVS Teach and SVS Bonny - have been supporting industry in the region for over eighteen months.

SVS operates a fleet of modern and purpose built craft that are utilised by industry in a wide variety of roles. As a specialist offshore services vessel owner and operator, SVS has achieved consistent delivery to international oil companies and service companies in challenging offshore exploration and production environments.

2015 was a very successful year for SVS, and a high proportion of SVS vessels were on-hire to top-tier oil and gas companies. The company also recorded over 5,000 working days off the West African region as a whole, and in addition to Nigeria, SVS vessels supported industry off Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana.

West Africa is a demanding region in which to operate. To ensure best in class service to clients, SVS implements comprehensive management oversite to guarantee working practises that are compliant with local regulations and applies extensive security measures aboard its vessels to ensure safe and secure service delivery. SVS has a strong logistical footprint in the area and has also invested in a local Ghanaian company as part of its corporate ethos to promote local content and indigenisation wherever possible.

December 2015

SVS CORNWALLIS completes seismic support project offshore Equatorial Guinea

Specialised Vessel Services’ (SVS) newest vessel, SVS CORNWALLIS, has recently completed a charter in support of a top-tier seismic exploration company off Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea. SVS CORNWALLIS commenced her charter in September and underwent comprehensive client-led vetting and an OVID (Offshore Vessel Inspection Database) inspection.

Extensive security measures were put on board to enable the vessel to work in the Gulf of Guinea, and SVS deployed a Health and Safety officer to support the project start-up.

During the life of the project, SVS CORNWALLIS completed over 75 safety-incident free days and positive feedback was received throughout the charter; especially pleasing was her excellent fuel economy.

SVS CORNWALLIS is the most recent acquisition to the SVS fleet. She is a Damen-built 55 metre Fast Crew Supplier, capable of carrying 88 passengers for fast support of drilling and seismic operations.

SVS is a specialist offshore services vessel owner and operator. It has achieved consistent delivery to international oil companies and service companies in the offshore exploration and production environments offshore Africa with a reputation for excellence. SVS has extensive experience operating off West Africa with almost 5000 charter days, almost 2500 of the days have been conducted off Nigeria. 

November 2015

Specialised Vessel Services completes sale of SVS DRAKE

As part of its long-term strategic replacement and vessel acquisition program, Specialised Vessel Services (SVS) are pleased to confirm the sale of SVS DRAKE.

Over the last four years SVS DRAKE has worked on key projects for SVS in both seismic guard/chase duties and in support of drilling exploration campaigns off East and West Africa.   The first vessel purchase by SVS, SVS DRAKE has been chartered to international oil companies and seismic operators including Statoil, Hunt Oil, BG Group, Noble Energy, Fugro (now CGG Veritas) and Seabird Exploration amongst others.  Over its working life with SVS the vessel has worked for 935 days on charter with the remainder spent on mobilisation/demobilsation voyages and an extended period of upgrade in July 2014.

The sale of SVS Drake supports the SVS strategic approach of operating a new, modern fleet and investing in new best-in-class vessels that meet the demands of the industry and the requirements of clients.  As part of the SVS acquisition programme, SVS’ newest vessel, SVS CORNWALLIS, a 55m Damen axe-bow Fast Crew Supplier, is now operating in the Gulf of Guinea.  

2015 has been an successful year for the company in a challenging market place which will have seen 5000 incident free days off West Africa primarily supporting offshore exploration campaigns for international oil companies.

March 2015

SVS GRENVILLE has been delivered to a major oil & gas exploration and development company for a 12 month period

SVS GRENVILLE has been delivered to a major oil and gas exploration and development company for a 12 month period of hire off Cote D'Ivoire. Early in her deployment she has received positive reviews from the charterer following external Common Marine Inspection Document (CIMD) audit with charterers stating '….We had a debrief with our marine auditor yesterday.  Only positive feedback on the Grenville and her crew.'

SVS were able to mobilise SVS GRENVILLE at short notice having positioned the vessel to West Africa to provide well managed and fit for purpose tonnage in the region. This decision was vindicated, as the Charterer had originally been let down by a poor mobilisation from another vessel operator and SVS were able to deliver what they needed in a prompt and professional manner.

The vessel has a broad remit operating in support of charterer drilling operations.  GRENVILLE has spent over 36 months in support of exploration activity, both seismic and drilling, in East Africa and therefore able to provide experience in the requested roles of; managing close standby duties to the client rig; managing sea traffic in the area to keep the 500m zone free of third parties and clearance of illegal fishing equipment.

The charterer demanded specific conditions in vessel standards and marine systems and SVS dispatched by air, at their own cost, a Fast Rescue Boat from the Netherlands to fulfil client requirements.

The SVS GRENVILLE has recently undertaken a full dry dock and it is expected that the vessel will be conducting her duties for prolonged periods at sea, of up to 45 days.

The efficiency and timeliness of SVS's approach in this task has enabled the client to continue operations in a complex environment without loss, and maintain its reputation.

January 2015

SVS complete support of two 3D seismic surveys off East Africa

SVS provided SVS COCHRANE and SVS KIDD in support of 2 x 3D surveys of East Africa. From last October SVS COCHRANE was mobilised to support a 60 day survey off Tanzania.

Mobilising from Mtwara the vessel completed the work with no lost work hours. COCHRANE was conducting guard and chase vessel duties. The ship operated for 30 day periods at 5 knots, being able to move to 20 knots to conduct duties as required.

At the end of this project, the client was requested to mobilise another chase vessel at immediate notice to support their next work off Mozambique. SVS mobilised the KIDD and the vessels were ready for deployment from Pemba, Mozambique in good time for client OVID inspections and project start up.

In both instances the seismic end clients were very demanding with specific requirements in vessel standards, marine systems and HSSE requirements.SVS operates a full SMS and delivers marine safety systems and standards that enable us to deliver with confidence to the most demanding clients.

This ensures that clients work is enabled, there is no impact resulting in downtime or standby and we can ensure the HSSE statistics of our clients are not compromised.

All in all, the SVS approach increases client profitably, ensures efficiency and maintains reputation.

September 2014

SVS overcome supply chain adversity in West Africa

SVS are an established best in class provider in the Safety, Supply, Standby & Support vessel market. We have excellent relationships with leading O & G operators and service companies alike. SVS have been operating within the East African region since our establishment in 2010 and we are now successfully delivering services in West Africa. This new geography comes with a new set of operational and logistics challenges. Our ‘niche’ is the provision of service excellence in difficult or complex country environments.

SVS have their new 55M Damen Axe Bow safety standy FSIV (SVS Cavendish) operating from Soyo in Angola. Angola presents a series of complex challenges with low holdings of technical stock in country and extended supply chains across difficult terrain. Moving stock, provisions and ships stores in country and through Luanda over 779KM on under developed road systems compounds the supply chain issue.

SVS Supply Chain have quickly adapted to these challenges, using their global network, collaborating with local service providers to swiftly establish an effective supply chain that delivers and sustains SVS CAVENDISH without compromising our operations and more importantly the welfare of our crew.

The first request from the charterer was the conversion of half of the seating to rest areas for charterers personnel – whilst continuing to work on the vessels charter operations. This was achieved and the solution has seen locally constructed tables, along with reconfigured seating & access to large screen terrestrial television (on clients request) and gym and fitness equipment being delivered to the vessel with no disruption of the vessels work.

August 2014

Specialised Vessel Services agreement with Wilhelmsen Ships Service

SVS is pleased to announce a recently signed agreement with Wilhelmsen Ships Service for the delivery, servicing and supply of SVS Fleet Life Raft Equipment (LRE).

SVS are committed to best operation of their vessels and this arrangement with Wilhelmsen guarantees we fully conform with regulatory conditions and compliance requirements. It further enables SVS to fulfil its commitment to safe working conditions for our crew by ensuring working, in date and serviceable LRE on board our fleet.

The agreement is based on:

  • Fixed annual price to ensure best value and no variable financial implications in ‘difficult to operate’ regions
  • Due-date monitoring through Customer Service Centres
  • Approved life rafts
  • Annual inspections
  • Official Certificate of Compliance
  • Quick turnarounds for LRE servicing and supply

Dealing with one service provider, regardless of the vessels location, allows for ease of organisation. Wilhelmsen arrange shipment to the required port in advance of a vessels arrival to ensure the equipment is ready for when the vessel arrives. Wilhelmsen operate in over 2,200 ports with 24/7 assistance and the service is already proven with 4 x vessel LRE changes taking place, problem free, to date.

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August 2014

SVS Cochrane and SVS Monck complete escort of PLV Castrone

SVS vessels Cochrane and Monck were tasked at short notice in early June to escort the Pipe Laying vessel “PLV Castrone” from Yemen to a safe release point in the Indian Ocean.

After embarking security teams in Mombasa, Cochrane and Monck deployed at best speed to the rendezvous point with PLV Castrone also effecting a bunker evolution en route at Djibouti. Cochrane and Monck arrived at the RV with PLV Castrone in good time and the escort was conducted without incident. Both SVS vessel crews were commended by the client for their professionalism especially in the horrendous weather that followed them throughout the task.

Both vessels arrived back in Mombasa by the 1st August completing the 5700 nm round trip bespoke task in an impressive 19 days confirming once again the ability, flexibility and versatility of the SVS fleet.

June 2014

SVS complete external OVMSA Audit
and Self-Assessment Program

In June 2014, SVS Management conducted a confirmation review of stages 1 & 2 of their OVMSA, with the valued support of the quality assurance department of an OCIMF member client. SVS will be publishing their self-assessment towards the end of the year and welcome existing and potential clients to review their systems.

The Offshore Vessel Inspection Database, commonly referred to as OVID was developed by the OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum) in response to a request from members to provide a database of offshore inspections, broadly following the format of SIRE, Ship Inspection Report Programme; whilst acknowledging that the offshore marine sector has different processes and procedures than the tanker world, from an assurance and operational view point.

OVID has been designed to provide a number of positive benefits to OCIMF/OGP members and vessel operators. By utilising a database where inspection reports are available online to OVID participating members, assurance checks as a part of the due diligence or chartering process, may be sped up as companies have instant access to reliable information on the vessel specification, condition and its safety performance.

The OVMSA programme, Offshore Vessel Management Self-Assessment, takes this service yet further by delivering a voluntary tool to enable operators of offshore vessels to monitor continuous improvement throughout internal management systems, using industry best management practice benchmarks. These systems encompass all typical and task specific activities undertaken by the company including technical, operational, personnel and HSSE management, both on-board and ashore. The programme encourages vessel operators to assess their safety management systems against listed key performance indicators (KPIs) and provides the best practice guidance standards. Once published, OCIMF members are able to access online and review potential contractors.

Specialised Vessel Services aims to transfer best practices across their fleet through the consistent application of the OVMSA, and OVID, industry provided and preferred tools. The self-assessment audit is broken down into the following KPI areas of management, each assessed over 4 stages with increasing level of detail:

  • Management, Leadership and Accountability
  • Recruitment and Management of Shore-based personnel
  • Recruitment and Management of Vessel personnel
  • Reliability and Maintenance Standards
  • Navigational Safety
  • Offshore Operations
  • Management of Change
  • Incident Investigation and Analysis
  • Safety Management (Shore and Fleet Monitoring)
  • Environmental Management
  • Emergency Preparedness and Contingency Planning
  • Measurement, Analysis and Improvement

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March 2014

SVS Cavendish - latest addition to the fleet

SVS took delivery of their new Damen 55M FCS on 08 March and following a successful and incident free mobilisation voyage to West Africa placed the vessel on charter on 30 March as planned.

This latest addition to the SVS fleet is equipped with towing winch, knuckle boom crane, reefer points, FRC, davit launched work boat, OSR booms, accommodation and seating for charterers personnel for extended range supply and shorter run FCS duties.

Performing in all weather at speeds of 22 knots SVS CAVENDISH looks set for a future of work in the specified roles of safety, standby and supply whilst allowing FCS and FSIV functions to be performed in a variety of project and offshore required circumstances.

The relationship between Damen and SVS continues to go from strength to strength and SVS are in discussions for further new builds over the next 2 year work cycle.

February 2014

SVS receives ISO certificates

Specialised Vessel Services is extremely pleased to announce that the company has recently concluded a yearlong process of internal and external auditing and as a result has achieved the internationally recognised ISO standards for company management, gaining the following certification:

SVS has been certified by URS, United Registrar of Systems, who are in turn accredited by UKAS, The United Kingdom Accreditation Service. UKAS is the sole national accreditation body recognised by government to assess, against internationally agreed standards, organisations that provide certification, testing, inspection and calibration services.

Accreditation by UKAS demonstrates the competence, impartiality and performance capability of these evaluators.

In achieving these standards, SVS has used the certification process to strategically tackle some of the most demanding challenges of our industry expectations. The certification process has ensured that our operations are as efficient as possible and productivity is at its maximum potential and we can continue to meet the standards of best in class delivery that we strive for.

ISO 14001: 2004 Environmental Management

ISO 9001: 2008 Quality Management

OHSAS 18001: 2007 Health and Safety Management


October 2013

Crewing Team Update

SVS only recruits and retains the seafarers that meet the company’s high expectations and levels of standards and compliance. SVS thoroughly check all certification, documentation, work history and maritime knowledge of seafarers to ensure that the standards and compliance required by the company, authorisations, conventions and administrations are met. The company standards and compliance bar is set by that which is laid out by the four pillars of the IMO; STCW Manila amendments, MARPOL, SOLAS and the MLC.

The seafarers certification and documentation is constantly under review by the dedicated crewing team in order to ensure that all seafarers serving on SVS vessels are fully trained as per the requirements from relevant bodies laid out above. The crewing department will submit random certification for checking by the relevant maritime authority along with the certification which does not satisfy the crewing manager during the recruitment phase. Training and revalidation is taken very seriously by the company and all seafarers are subject to the Manila amendments which ensures revalidation of the basic requirements for a particular rank every 5 years.

SVS is an equal rights employer and currently has seafarers from over 11 different countries all working side by side. Where possible, SVS offers seafaring employment to all local nationals in the area of operation and currently, over 70% of SVS crews are African including nationals from Benin, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa. To ensure the highest standards are met and maintained, SVS recruit from all over the globe, the furthest current seafarers home being Manado, Indonesia.

SVS operates an ‘open door’ policy for its crews to their crewing manager and they can contact him any day of the week 24/7 to ask questions, air concerns, address welfare issues or ask for updates on certification, future projects and employment. This eases the crews during prolonged service at sea and ensures the crews feel supported whilst isolated on the vessel. This is one of the many reasons why SVS seafarers return to serve SVS vessels time and time again.

September 2013

SVS signs contract for 2 new build 55M FSIV

SVS has recently signed contracts with Damen Shipyards for the delivery of 2 x new build 55M Fast Support Intervention Vessels.

Built by Damen at their Vietnam Shipyard SVS is due to take delivery of the SVS CORNWALLIS in October 2013 and SVS CAVENDISH in January 2014.

This multi-million dollar investment in new build vessels defines SVS's commitment to the acquisition, management and delivery of best in class vessels to support major oil and gas projects offshore including drilling, pipe lay, seismic and survey work where these is a requirement for fast crew supply, safety stand by and fast supply work.

The Damen axe-bow design gives exceptional performance and this latest purchase underlines the partnership approach undertaken between SVS and their ship building partner, Damen.

August 2013

SVS Morgan completes tow of damaged tanker vessel

SVS Morgan was tasked at short notice to conduct a tow of the damaged tanker vessel from Nacala, Mozambique to Durban, South Africa.

Mobilising the SVS Morgan within 24 hours of firm interest, SVS Morgan proceeded South through the Mozambique Channel in very heavy sea and 40 knots winds to take the tanker vessel on tow, for continued passage to Durban.

The flexibility of the SVS fleet, in this instance, using the SVS Morgan in role as a tow tug, show the breadth of capability offered by from the SVS fleet ensuring our watchwords of Safety, Standby and Support can be offered to meet differing client needs.

July 2013

SVS Bonny will be available for charter from start September

SVS Bonny will shortly be mobilising on her delivery voyage to the Africa region and will be available for charter from start September in support of the Autumn seismic and drilling campaigns.

This investment ensures that SVS continue to provide vessels that can fulfill chase roles for seismic acquisition combined with fast support or stand by capability in support of exploratory operations.

The vessel is an ex Japanese Government Patrol Vessel and has a top speed of 36 knots, coupled with excellent endurance, a very low fuel consumption and berth space for 12 charterers personnel. The vessel is a versatile ship in excellent condition.

June 2013

SVS further strengthens finance team

We are pleased to announce the recent appointment of Nassim Walsh as Finance Officer based in our Dubai office.

Nassim will be working for our Chief Financial Officer and comes to SVS as a proven Finance Director; she is a multi-lingual Master of Business Administration graduate with over 11 years of banking and professional experience with a great deal of very relevant experience in shipping and banking.

Nassim will primarily be based in Dubai, but will spend time in our locations across Africa.

We are looking forward to having Nassim on the team to strengthen our overall financial support for the future growth of the business as well as to leverage her local market knowledge of Dubai.

June 2013

SVS moves into West Africa

SVS has recently signed charter agreements for the SVS Frobisher and SVS Avery to support drilling exploration work off Benin. The vessels mobilised from Mombasa recently with both making the transit in excellent time and in good order. SVS Avery conducted a maintenance call at the Damen facility in Cape Town, taking advantage of the transit voyage to ensure that all on board systems are fully functional and working to Damen and Class specification. The vessel mobilisation was supported by the deployment of a full time shore manager and the upcoming project will see an Offshore Manager (OSM) deployed to oversee all HSSEQ aspects of the project, as well as liaison between charterers representatives and the main drilling operation.

SVS deploy OSMs on all multi-vessel projects/charters. We believe we are the only Safety/Supply/Support or Chase/FSIV owner who does this, in direct support of our charterers requirements – typically aligned to the delivery of strict OGP standards.

May 2013

Financial Report Half Year 2012/13

The first half trading of Specialised Vessel Services showed a continuation of its upward growth trajectory.

The company successfully grew its top line whilst maintaining overall profit levels.

During this period the company continued to expand its customer base, expand the operational capability of the company by considerably strengthening its management team, whilst at the same time expanding its fleet of new build vessels from Damen.

The balance sheet and net worth of SVS continues to strengthen as the company continues to pay down its vessel loans at an aggressive rate whilst maintaining excellent levels of EBITDA.

Overall the Board are pleased with the H1 12/13 results and the company strategy of purchase, ownership and operation of top quality vessels, personnel and systems is ensuring that SVS is prepared for its next trading period.

Photo: Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech.
May 2013

SVS opens new Dubai
based Back Office

Specialised vessel Services (SVS), is set to capitalise on the growing demand for its services in the area with the opening of a new office in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This new office will run the company back office systems, with elements of finance, HSSEQ, technical management, procurement and legal being based in the Emirate.

SVS is looking forward to opening the doors of it latest Branch Office. This office will allow the company to better serve our existing current client base, as well as explore new business opportunities in the immediate region as well as diversifying our current portfolio of services.

The company is pleased to add a number of new members to its Dubai team. This team is recruited from the global shipping market from a wide range of nationalities and backgrounds which demonstrates the commitment to equality that forms a corner stone of SVS operating standards. Staff from Kenya, India, Philippines and the UK will all share their multi-national experience in the new back office hub.

SVS has a proven ability to operate successfully in some of the harshest and most remote areas of the Indian Ocean from the Coast of Somalia to the Mozambique Channel. The company is committed to providing vessels and systems that are seen and widely recognised as ‘best in class’ to the offshore oil and gas industry. It is further committed to grows its operational geographies and to building sustainable and outstanding back office systems and processes.

April 2013

Dedicated crewing managers and online chart publications

As SVS continues to grow its support functions and the DPA team ensures compliance with the STCW Convention and Code.

SVS employs a highly dedicated crewing cell, which ensures that the fleet is always adequately manned with medically fit, experienced and competent seafarers, paying particular attention to recruitment, placement, training, retainment and crew changes to ensure SVS continue to lead the market through the quality and standards of our crews and vessels.

The crewing cell subject applicants to a thorough, phased recruitment process, which ensures the recruitment of highly skilled seafarers to serve our vessels and subsequently, the projects. The crewing cell also ensure that the seafarers remain trained and compliant with the relevant conventions and codes.

The crewing cell remains on call 24/7 to react to any situation regarding crew in support of operations and projects on which the vessels serve.

Please visit the careers page for more information on recruitment.

SVS have recently signed an agreement with EW Liner Charts & Publications for the online monitoring of our vessel chart folios to ensure all Charts & Publications are automatically supplied with Notice to Mariners and Chart/Publication updates.

This continuing commitment to vessel and crew services, ensures we support our charterers requirements of having fit for purpose vessels, operated by professional and experienced crew with the right equipment.

April 2013

Meeting the Supply Chain Challenge in East Africa

SVS operations in East Africa are reliant on an effective supply chain that can support and meet the needs of our vessels and charterers. To do so in East Africa is challenging; cross border requirements and working, customs regulations, accessibility, infrastructure challenges and diverse geography demanding the use of multiple modes of transport from sea, road and air coupled with often complex, changing and differing documentation requirements create a unique set of issues that all require management and solutions.

The SVS Supply Chain team understand these challenges and work hard to provide best in class service, through the ability to support the uniqueness of each of these areas. We have a dedicated team, based in Dubai and Singapore that support the procurement and delivery of both technical and consumable operational items. Working through an agency agreement with KMC, we can ensure delivery of critical and consumable items through the KMC established Mombasa Supply Base whilst in Tanzania, Boma Logistics ensure that our working demands are met, be they in Dar es Salaam, Kilwa or Mtwara.

Time and again, the SVS Supply Chain team ensures delivery of the right product, in the right quantity, in the right condition, with the right documentation, to the right place at the right time at the right price. Our dedicated teams liaise with suppliers, clearance and forwarding agents and customs tracking all shipments. This improves stability, predictability, and reliability of the ‘forecast to deliver’ process, bringing SVS and the customer closer together. We look to work with trusted and reliable suppliers that understand the nature and dynamics of our business, and look beyond the short term, towards building a sustainable long term relationship with suppliers, customs, C & F agents and more importantly maintaining a first class customer focus.

March 2013

Continued support to Anadarko in Kenya and Mozambique

SVS continue to work with Anadarko off East Africa, with the latest fleet addition, SVS Teach, working in support of their work off Kenya. SVS Teach is a Damen new build 33M ‘axe bow’ design FSIV. The vessel is equipped with excellent bridge technology to assist in the vessel role, including Thermal Imaging equipment and night vision monoculars and well as having a ballistic protected bridge and wheelhouse. During this current campaign, the vessels flexibility and versatility will be maximised as she is employed in a number of roles covering aspects of safety, standby, supply and security. The SVS Teach will be supported by SVS Grenville in the near future.

SVS Monck, another 33M axe bow FSIV, is operating off Mozambique working out of Pemba in support of drilling work. The vessels role is similar to the Kenyan work, with SVS Monck undertaking fast intervention support to the project. SVS Monck is further fitted with a rear deck davit and is able to launch and recover her 6.5M Zodiac SeaRider RHIB in support of work boat or other safety related operations.

The use of the versatile 33M axe bow vessels allow SVS to provide a range of services to meet our charterer’s needs. This includes fast crew supply, critical stores supply, safety standby for a range of work along with intervention, chase and security tasks.

March 2013

Fleet Maintenance Program Continues

The 2013 Fleet Maintenance Programme is now three months in, with the Fleet Department working from their 12 month schedule to ensure SVS vessels are maintained in “Best in Class” condition.

The SVS DAMEN fleet is looked after by the DAMOS system which is classed approved by Bureau Veritas. “DAMOS is a unique vessel maintenance management system that identifies and categorizes all on-board systems of a vessel. Information from DAMOS enables ship owners to prolong the lifecycle of their fleet and optimize cost of ownership. With DAMOS, external surveys are faster and easier as all relevant maintenance information is stored in the database.”

Other vessels have also been subject to their planned maintenance schedules. SVS Frobisher has had a full engine overhaul carried out by James Troop Ltd, an Authorised agent of Daihatsu, along with maintenance of all on board systems and extensive pipework replacement throughout the vessel. SVS Drake returned from her latest tasking for a Classification Survey by International Register of Shipping whilst in dry dock which was successful and we are currently awaiting delivery of Class Certificates. The vessel also had a jet propulsion system overhaul, generator overhauls and main engine 3000 hours services carried out by specialists during this period.

SVS operate a Preventative Maintenance Policy with the Technical Management Team working closely with the vessels to ensure defective items are repaired quickly and efficiently to ensure minimal downtime to charterers.

February 2013

SVS take delivery of new 33M Damen Axe Bow

The most recent addition to the SVS fleet, SVS TEACH has recently undergone and passed her sea trials in Singapore. SVS TEACH will be mobilising to East Africa over the next few week, to start on a long term time charter in support of exploration work off Kenya.

This investment demonstrates SVS commitment to building a modern, best in class fleet to meet the combined roles of SAFETY STANDBY SUPPLY SECURITY. As the threat of piracy reduces, largely in part to the anti-piracy efforts in the region, SVS can now focus on delivery to more normalised exploration operations.

The Damen 33M axe bow provides a best in class vessel with range, capability, performance and speed to deliver fast support, intervention and crew supply capability. The team are looking to having the vessel on strength.

February 2013

SVS announce appointment of Chief Financial Officer

SVS are pleased to announce the appointment of new Chief Financial Officer (CFO). As SVS continues to grow and expand our horizons, this recruitment enhances and strengthens our existing Finance and Management Teams, enabling SVS to move forward financially in a structured, organised and scalable way, both within SVS and further across the Group.

New CFO brings to SVS and the Group comprehensive, senior finance management experience as well as a proven track record of delivering transformational business results. His role is to deliver, and implement, a clear vision of how SVS and the Group will work from a financial and back office perspective. As a CFO, he is experienced in raising capital, managing acquisitions, dealing with financial institutions, Investors and Boards as well as having personally managed an IPO process.

During his career leading Finance teams, he has managed teams ranging up to 120 people and as small as 2, and as a COO/CEO managed companies as large as 2000 people delivering on a £1.4bn top line.

January 2013

SVS Local Content Plan delivers success

As a company operating, for the majority of its charter work off Kenya, Tanzania and Mozambique, SVS ensure that we fully integrate our vessel crewing program to the local market. We ensure that the local workforce is accessed through active recruitment from those countries we operate in the most and we are pleased to announce that just under 50% of our crew are drawn from this market.

We focus on training, assessment and continued skills based improvement to ensure that we deliver to client expectations and needs. Most oil and gas related companies require and insist on local content provision; SVS are proud to be able to state that we do fully invest our time and energy in making this a reality. We run a series of Deck and Engineering Cadet schemes and meet the education fees for those on the scheme, as well as providing a marine career path of those interested in same.

January 2013

Zero Incidents on 3D seismic project off Seychelles

SVS are currently finishing the support to a 3D seismic project off Seychelles. Managing the Group vessels, MARTIAL and CENTURION, SVS have worked to ensure that the project has passed without any HSSE related incident, with no operational headaches and importantly zero client down time.

The two vessels were deployed at very short notice, with one chartered direct to the seismic provider, and the other to the security provider.

A complex set of operating conditions existed and the HSSE and Operations teams once again proved their worth in ensuring project success.

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