It is a requirement on most off shore fields to have emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRV) constantly on standby to evacuate personnel from rigs and platforms in the event of an emergency. The main requirements for ERRV to satisfy are that it should be capable of:
- rescuing from water or recovering persons and providing them with medical aid,
- acting as “place of safety”,
- providing on-scene coordination,
- monitoring the safety zone, warning approaching vessels and the off shore installation of the risk of collision and preventing same where possible,
- acting as a reserve radio station.
An ERRV should combine good manoeuvrability, enhanced survivor reception and medical after-care facilities, state of art navigational/communications equipment and rescue craft capable of operating in severe weather.
Many ERRVs are fitted with both daughter craft (DC) and fast rescue craft (FRC). In many respects the launch/recovery phases of both FRC and DC are limiting factors to their use and especially the recovery operation requires a high degree of professionalism and teamwork between the craft’s crew and those operating the davit on board the ERRV.
In some cases the weather conditions are too severe to launch rescue craft and in these circumstances ERRVs are provided with a mechanical recovery device to recover survivors directly from the sea. The most common equipment is Dacon Scoop: a crane operated rescue net for recovery of casualties from the water directly on board rescue vessel.
- BP’s Project Jigsaw – A totally new concept for offshore rescue and recovery operations in the North Sea. Cover for each Jigsaw region includes a 93m multi-role regional support vessel (RSV), which will accommodate modules for two autonomous rescue and recovery crafts (ARRC) and two fast rescue craft (FRC), a recovery area suitable for 300 survivors, and rescue craft accommodation.