Boat transfers have proven their worth

Press release   •   Apr 02, 2014 09:15 CEST

ESVAGT has completed 80,000 transfers by boat without a single LTI. Constant training and focus on safe operation can explain the results.

The ESVAGT boat based crew change is a structured operation where dedicated crews and thoroughly trained personnel work together optimally. That is the explanation why the crew change vessels have achieved 5 and 13 years respectively without a single Lost Time Incident (LTI).

2014 is the year when the crew change vessel ’Esvagt Beta’ has achieved 5 years without any LTI and that is the first impressive milestone for one of the company’s two crew change vessels. The other vessel, ’Esvagt Alpha’, is now in its thirteenth year with the same achievement –zero LTI.

But ESVAGT is very focused on the success but keep in mind that a milestone has been reached - but this is in no way an excuse for looking up the pitch and relaxes.

- A milestone is an occasion for reflection as we can see the results from all the hard work. But it must never become a pretext for doing nothing, points out Ole Ditlev Nielsen, Chief Commercial & Safety Officer in ESVAGT.

According to him, the milestone was reached as a consequence of focus on delivering throughout the entire chain. The operations have been analysed, and the transfers divided into 10 areas for activities and no less than 184 items that are decisive for optimal transfer:

- The set up of the vessel, the dedication and competence of the crew, our back-up plan, equipment, maintenance, inspection and a lot of training are essential so that we can achieve the task together, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen.

Promotion of the culture

He regards the task of the crew change vessels as the absolute core operation for ESVAGT and for the development of the rest of the company as well.

- It is the competence of the crew change vessels and the continued development of these that have driven much of the development in ESVAGT, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen. This is evident as far as training and the constant development of our FRBs since 1981 are concerned, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen.

Consequently the crews of the crew change vessels have been selected according to special criteria:

- Apart from the professional competence and dedication to the task that we expect from all our crew, the crew on the vessels have the important function of being bearers and paragons of culture. They have been selected from the expectation that they are able to teach others about the way in which we do things in the company. It requires constant professional efforts by the crew on the crew change vessels to be the successful role models, they are. It is their task to systematise procedures and push the culture in the right direction. Therefore, it is one of the important traits to become part of the crew on the crew change vessels that people are caring, empathetic and have the quality of being able to have an open dialogue with the colleagues on board, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen.

Constant Constructive Dissatisfaction

The crew change vessels are some of the busiest places in ESVAGT. There are e.g. more than 6,000 people passing through ’Esvagt Alpha’ every year and in all, the crew change vessels have now completed 80,000 transfers in the history of the shipping company – a figure that will increase over the coming years. For the moment ESVAGT has 38 vessels in the fleet and every single one of them is performing crew change with boats.

These are vessels that make the highest score and have people moving through. And apart from all this, both crew change vessels also do work in other areas such as transferring people to wind turbines and testing rescue equipment. This has been done without any LTI as well.

He thinks that one of the explanations can be found in the concept "Constant Constructive Dissatisfaction"

- We have constantly developed the method we base our work on. We have an intensive development of vessels driven by the ambition to always having the optimal gear. We have a training programme and the extent of training that ensures the level required for our crews. We have a strong reporting culture focusing on the potential of incidents. And we have video filmed every single transfer for the past 13 years to ensure that we take as much learning from them as is possible, says Ole Ditlev Nielsen:

- We can boast 13 years and 5 years without LTI because we have built up a procedure that makes it feasible, is his conclusion.


ESVAGT has 25,000 launches per year. That is the equivalent of 70 launches every day on average.

ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities.

We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Resque Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.

In 2010, ESVAGT brought the dedicated offshore wind Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the market. The SOVs provide accommodation for up to 40 technicians, storage for small turbine parts and a workshop, plus personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.

ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and more than 900 employees on- and offshore.