On The Waterfront: ‘In command ever since’

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A SURVEY ship, which began life as an Icelandic trawler, sailed for the Dutch port of Eemshaven on Saturday, after spending almost two weeks alongside at Hendon Dock.

Owned by Icelandic offshore geophysical survey company, Neptune ehf, she is the 1,412 gross tons multi-purpose survey ship, Poseidon.

She is currently engaged in offshore wind farm projects, with Sunderland being chosen as an intermediate stopover between her previous deployment in the Irish Sea and forthcoming contract in Dutch waters.

The vessel arrived from Liverpool on August 15 and was brought into port by 53-year-old Captain Gudmund Gudmundsson, who has served on board for the past 30 years.

Having originally joined the ship when she was the Icelandic stern trawler, Hardbakur, he became master 15 years ago and has remained in command ever since. Captain Gudmundsson said: “It has been very good to stay at Sunderland. We have received excellent cooperation from the port authority and have enjoyed our time in the city.”

Now sporting a striking red, white and blue colour scheme, Poseidon was completed in 1975 by Astilleros Luzuriaga SA shipyard, Pasajes San Juan, Spain, as the stern trawler, Hardbakur.

In 2009, she was acquired by Neptune ehf and became the multi-purpose survey ship, Poseidon, following a major conversion programme, which included installation of a dynamic positioning (DP) system.

She now carries a wide range of sophisticated survey equipment, enabling the vessel to operate in both continental shelf and ocean basin environments.

Besides a 20-tonne stern-mounted A-frame used for lifting heavy equipment, a five-tonne frame on the starboard side allows launch and recovery of remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).

Poseidon also boasts high standards in crew accommodation and recreational amenities, with on board equipment facilitating the desalination of sea water.

Since returning to service in 2010, she has been involved in several projects, including seismic and environmental surveys in the extreme and inhospitable conditions off Greenland.

With its corporate headquarters in the northern Icelandic city of Akureyri, Neptune ehf opened a regional UK base at Aberdeen earlier this year.

The company also owns and operates a second geophysical and ROV DP survey vessel, named Neptune.