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The Superyacht Emergency Response Service That Saves Lives

21 September 2023 By Hannah Rankine for DNV
DNV team working on yacht safety project
Credit: DNV

While nobody expects or wishes for any unanticipated incidents during their superyacht adventure, the initial hours following an incident at sea can be the thin line between success and disaster. In an industry where safety is paramount, DNV's Emergency Response Service (ERS™) offers a lifesaving solution to the unpredictable nature of the sea. For more than 30 years, its swift, discreet and expert response system ensures that luxury and security coexist harmoniously on board.

"At DNV, we understand that incidents at sea can strike without warning, endangering vessels of all types, whether they are enrolled in our service or not, and irrespective of regulatory requirements," explains Jon Rysst, senior vice president and business development leader at DNV. "What sets us apart is our unwavering commitment to maritime safety and our exceptional competence, expertise and experience in handling emergencies on the high seas."

Credit: DNV

Handling Incidents Swiftly and Discreetly

On board more than 4,000 yachts worldwide, enrolling your superyacht in the ERS™ program grants you access to a dedicated team of experts primed to respond to emergency situations 24/7. This expert team also excels in assessing damage stability, residual strength and drift predictions, offering invaluable assistance during the salvage phase and transit to the repair yard.

In an industry where privacy is paramount, unwelcome media attention is the last thing a yacht wants during an incident. Owners, operators and crew seek to resolve crises quickly and efficiently, with the aim of getting back to cruising as soon as possible. DNV's ERS™ team, always on standby, swiftly mobilizes and maintains open communication with the captain and manager. Armed with data from prepared models and tools and drawing upon their extensive expertise, they work tirelessly to improve the situation and reduce the risk, all while ensuring the utmost discretion.

"In an emergency at sea, time is of the essence. For pre-enrolled vessels, we have all the necessary arrangements in place, ensuring that help begins with a single activation call," says Rysst. "However, for non-enrolled vessels, valuable time is often lost in preparing the required tools. But here's the difference - at DNV, we don't wait. We believe that every vessel in distress deserves prompt assistance. That's why we provide quick evaluations of possible avenues of help to the vessel operator company, even before our tools are read."

Credit: DNV

A Fully Trained Team

What sets DNV's ERS™ apart is not just its swift response but also the expertise that underpins it. Advanced modeling and comprehensive crew training ensure that onboard personnel are well-prepared to handle incidents. Knowing that an expert team is available around the clock provides reassurance to Designated Persons Ashore (DPAs), captains, crew and owners alike.

"Training with ERS™ allows officers on board and company shore-based response teams to learn how to control specific damage scenarios, understand the routines and the benefits of the service and be prepared to handle onboard emergencies with confidence," Rysst notes.

The ERS™ Duty Team consists of seven dedicated staff members, with three immediately mobilized upon receiving an emergency call. This team includes a duty-responsible officer who coordinates efforts, a stability expert and a strength expert. A fourth expert is also on standby to provide customers with crucial drift predictions and monitor meteorological data. This rapid, expert response contrasts sharply with the stress and uncertainty crew members may experience when reaching out for help.

Credit: DNV

Minimising Disruptions

Accessible to yachts classed by any classification society, the DNV ERS™ operates to minimize and prevent incidents at sea. This involves understanding the level of risk, its potential fluctuations and the steps that can be taken to mitigate these risks. To achieve this, DNV encourages vessels to conduct drills and exercises, providing crew members with a deeper understanding of what their vessel can withstand and how ERS™ can support them during emergency situations. Drill scenarios could be a collision, grounding, water ingress, structural damage, firefighting, shifting of cargo, bulk cargo liquefaction, isolated vapor pockets, drifting and more. During the exercises, ERS™ teams work as close to real conditions as possible and provide a summary report upon completion. By working in collaboration with DNV, owners, captains and crew can enhance their risk management strategies, ensuring they are fully prepared and supported during any unforeseen event at sea.

"Maritime incidents are unpredictable in their nature. Life-threatening situations can occur out at sea, in port and even in repair yards. And oddly enough, they can strike the same vessel and crew again and again," Rysst says. "DNV's ERS™ is always ready to tailor its work to address the risks and provide the best and most efficient decision support to the crew and the owners."

For more information on DNV’s ERS™, contact the team today.

Sponsored content created for DNV


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