A Damen SPa 4207, the second vessel in an order of four Damen vessels for the Jamaica Defence Force Coast Guard, has been officially handed over in Kingston, Jamaica. Construction on the vessel had already begun when the global pandemic struck and the rapid spread of the virus meant that upon completion of the vessel, pandemic travel restrictions made it unfeasible to arrange a crew to deliver her on own keel since the crew would not be permitted to return to their home countries once they arrived in Jamaica. Not to be deterred, the Damen Services vessel delivery teams worked to devise an alternative arrangement. The vessel left Damen Song Cam Shipyard in Vietnam, not on her own keel as is usual for this model, but on board the BBC Congo, a heavy transport vessel.
The SPa 4207 was loaded in Hai Phong Harbour in June 2021. COVID measures prevented Damen’s heavy lift team from being present to supervise her loading, but a local team was called upon to ensure the vessel was carefully loaded and properly secured. Once final checks had been made, the BBC Congo, and her precious cargo, sailed East across the South Pacific and through the Panama Canal, before arriving, just under two months later, in Kingston, Jamaica. On the morning of her arrival, the JDF’s new vessel was offloaded and, with a support fleet of smaller craft, was delivered to its base nearby. Due to changes in travel restrictions, Rimmert Berlijn, Service Coordinator, Delivery, Damen Heavy Lift, was able to safely travel to Jamaica to coordinate the logistics and supervise the offload. Mr. Berlijn stated: “The successful delivery of this vessel really came down to teamwork, collaboration, and everybody’s willingness to be flexible in finding solutions to the challenges of these times.” He continued: “It is always nice working with the JDF, and we are proud to continue our partnership with them”.
Damen Services has been contracted for ILS services for this vessel as well.
“We are very pleased to have completed this latest project for the JDF.” said Bram van der Plas, Damen’s Sales Manager, Caribbean. He continued: “The delivery of this vessel demonstrated the collaboration between and the adaptability of both the JDF and the Damen organizations. Keeping operations running smoothly has been an all-hands-on-deck situation with team members around the world stepping up to offer ideas that keep us on-track for our clients.
The four-vessel contract between Damen and the JDF saw the delivery of a FCS 5009 Patrol in 2020. Another SPa 4207 and a second FCS 5009 Patrol will be delivered in the years to come. “Damen’s relationship with the JDF is one that is built on mutual trust and experience and we are proud to have successfully added another Damen vessel to their fleet,” added Bram van der Plas. “It has been quite a year, but clients have been flexible, and our teams have stepped up to the challenge of the moment to create solutions that help us ensure positive customer experiences and make sure our vessels continue to arrive in style.”