AST Oceanics to provide new Emergency Towage Vessel for the Great Barrier Reef
Under a contract signed in early 2014 with Australian Maritime Systems (AMS), a new DP2 AHTS is being built for Oceanics in China for the Great Barrier Reef emergency towage and first response role. The keel laying ceremony took place in July 2015. AMS has a long term contract with the Australian Maritime Safety Authority to provide Emergency Towage Capability services plus extensive maintenance and support for aids to navigation. The vessel component of these services has been sub-contracted to AST Oceanics. A chartered vessel, the ‘Coral Knight’, is currently being operated by AST Oceanics from Cairns and is primarily working on the Queensland coast to provide protection for the Great Barrier Reef from grounding and pollution incidents. This vessel will be replaced with the new ETV, a slightly larger ship at 69m x 17m, in mid 2016.The new ETV layout has been optimised for the dual role of emergency towage and the deployment and recovery of buoys and associated aids to navigation tasks.