The ever-increasing marine traffic (commercial and pleasure), together with the higher passenger and crew capacities of modern vessels (especially within the defence industry), is continually presenting new responsibilities and challenges for maritime entities. At the same time, there are financial constraints that limit the amount of resources that can be implemented.

Governmental, non-governmental, military, private and voluntary entities responsible for search and rescue (SAR), patrol and law enforcement, as well as the oil and gas industry, are always looking for new solutions for fulfilling their missions under tighter budgets, stricter marine regulations and demands, and more safety concerns for crews in view of high speeds and weather conditions.

All this highlights the need for experienced and professional providers of fully equipped multipurpose vessels, centrally located to facilitate logistics. To address the challenges of financial constraints, MSAR is providing its vessels under a number of different leasing packages, tailor-made to customer requirements. Such packages are supported by a complete lifecycle programme, including technical support, maintenance programmes, training and end-of-life recycling. Offering the vessels on leasing agreements will allow clients to keep close communication with the provider, thus offering an immediate, professional point of reference for any related requirements.

Reduced financial burden

The idea of providing multipurpose vessels revolving around attractive leasing solutions has been one of MSAR’s fundamental concepts. Managing director Jack Wijnants emphasises: "Providing financially and technologically attractive solutions to entities responsible for SAR and patrol is of the utmost importance, since such entities are constantly faced with missions that are harder to undertake, together with tighter budget constraints."

In addition to the reduced financial burden, there are a number of benefits to MSAR’s service, including the possibility of varying fleet size according to demand; having a closed loop with respect to technical assistance, availability of parts and shore support programmes in case of emergency; preventive maintenance programmes; and the commitment to refit/overhaul the vessels at agreed intervals, together with renewal or correct disposal at each vessel’s end of life. As part of the refitting process, the end-user would benefit from software and hardware upgrades in order to receive the vessel fully compliant with the latest regulations and standards.

MSAR has design and construction capabilities that allow the company to customise its standard vessels up to and exceeding customer expectations. It offers high-end quality vessels, outfitted with all the necessities for safety at sea, as well as state-of-the-art communication and navigation technology including any customer-requested options.

New integrated technologies used by the respective rescue-coordination centres play an important role in enhancing mission effectiveness. However, having the necessary vessels and equipment to hand is a crucial part of the system.

MSAR offers multipurpose hulls of between 15-42m, together with a wide array of options that include (but are not limited to): medical, scientific and military equipment; ballistic protection; secure communications; cameras; customisation for extreme climates; passenger comfort features; extended range possibilities; and split accommodation to cater for male and female crew. In addition, vessels are offered with different propulsion packages according to the required speeds ranging from 30-42kt. Endurance and type of duty are also taken into consideration when evaluating the best propulsion solution for each vessel.

Current models

MSAR has been able to benchmark its own product line by analysing what is already in the market and identifying the many challenges that present themselves during operations. The company is able to meet such high expectations thanks to its continuous learning from the vast experience of military and voluntary rescuers together with offshore and commercial companies. All this has made it possible for MSAR’s team to come up with its current models: the Protector, the Interceptor and the offshore patrol vessel OPV 42M.

The Protector series aims to exceed the performance and characteristics of existing designs with an improved layout and integration of state-of-the-art machinery, hardware and software. The objective of this series was to create an 18m, highly functional, all-weather and cost-effective multipurpose vessel that could be directly used for a variety of applications including SAR, maritime security and patrol.

The Interceptor series was designed as a high-speed vessel that could be deployed for patrol and law enforcement, and enhanced by the possible integration of a number of unmanned aerial and surface vessels. The use of unmanned vessels is becoming highly important and useful in this industry because it provides the end-user with more efficient tools to perform their mission in the shortest and safest way possible.

The OPV 42M has been designed as a base for anti-piracy and oil platform protection, and it has been targeted for longer missions. The vessel’s design incorporates comfortable facilities for its crew with split male/female accommodation; standard propeller drives; and an additional marine turbine for fast operations.

Apart from any customer-requested equipment, MSAR is committed to providing all its vessels complete with the necessary equipment to meet the relevant regulations for such crafts. This includes hull construction and assembly to marine classification specification; outfitting with certified/classified equipment; the latest navigation and communication equipment; safety equipment for crew and passengers/survivors; and suitable seating capabilities for the comfort and safety of the crew and passengers.

Targeted training

Training in the familiarisation of the vessels and how to integrate them with existing resources is also provided as part of the complete solution that MSAR offers along with its tangible line of products. In this way, the company plans to provide all the training required by the various vessel crews.

Through collaboration with different entities as well as the company’s own expertise and equipment, MSAR is also planning to deliver marine-related courses. Such courses shall facilitate the learning phase of the participants through the provision of hands-on training and theoretical curriculum. All courses shall cover current legislation and regulations in order to provide the latest information to participants. As well as the direct vessel end-users, such courses will be aimed at the commercial and offshore sectors that operate within the EMEA regions.