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Latest News

March 2017 – Celtic Guardian returns to France

Road Transportable

Celtic Guardian has been relocated to France on her fourth successive contract with OpenHydro and DCNS. She will remain in France until the end of October providing personnel transfers and dive support to the ongoing operations.

January 2017 – Celtic Nomad returns to Oban

Celtic Nomad

After 19 months providing personnel transfer services on the Queensferry Crossing in Edinburgh Celtic, Nomad has returned to Oban. Whilst in Edinburgh working 7 days a week she logged over 24,000 transfers to the bridge towers and other vessels on site. She will now undergo a full refit and take up her duties supporting the Northern Lighthouse Board and Marine Scotland for 2017.

October 2016 – Back to Jura

Celtic Guardian

With Celtic Nomad still on hire on the Queensferry Crossing Celtic Guardian was contracted to Briggs Marine for the third and final stages of the Jura subsea cable replacement. The works involve transferring personnel to the larger vessels during the cable burying operations are completed.

July 2016 – Appin – Lismore Ferry

Celtic Guardian

SMS provides cover for the Lismore Ferry. On her return from France, Celtic Guardian was relocated to Appin for 3 weeks to provide a ferry service whilst the Lismore Ferry was out for repairs.

April 2016 – SMS returns to Jura with Briggs Marine

Briggs Marine

SMS has secured a third contract with Briggs Marine Subsea Cables on the second stage of the Mainland – Isle of Jura SSE subsea cable. SMS previously supported Briggs during the 3 month Jura cable lay at the end of 2014.

January 2016 – SMS awarded contract with DCNS Group

DCNS

Alongside our current contract with OpenHydro Ltd, SMS has been awarded a contract to supply our 14m supports vessel Celtic Guardian to French company DCNS during the connections phase of OpenHydro’s two Tidal Turbines. Celtic Guardian will provide personnel and equipment support and occasional dive support to the operation. The contract will run until the second turbine is connected towards the end of May 2016.

November 2015 – SMS awarded third successive contract with OpenHydro Ltd

OpenHydro

SMS has been awarded a third contract to support OpenHydro Ltd with the installation of its two latest Tidal Turbines off the North Coast of France. “Celtic Guardian” will be stationed in France until the end of May/beginning of June providing personnel and equipment transfers as well as acting as guard/safety boat during the installation.

October 2015 – SMS Launches new 14m Multi Role Support Vessel

Celtic Guardian

SMS is proud to announce the launch of its newest vessel “Celtic Guardian”. Designed by Camarc Design from Dunoon and built by Alutec Marine from Barcaldine, Oban, Celtic Guardian is our largest vessel to date. Powered by triple 300Hp Yamaha outboards and capable of carrying 1 ton of cargo as well as 12 passengers, the new vessel is geared towards the renewable and offshore construction sectors. She is coded to MCA CAT 2 (60 miles offshore), equipped with the very latest electronics and suspension seats and also boasts a small galley and WC.

July 2015 – SMS Launches 10m Landing Craft “Celtic Trader”

Celtic Trader

SMS has launched a 10m landing craft capable of carrying 3 tons of cargo at a max speed of 38 Kts. Built by Robust Boats from Pembrokeshire, Wales, the vessel adds an extra dimension to our current fleet. Further details on our landing craft can be found on our Vessels Page.

June 2015 – SMS supplies vessel to Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors

Forth Bridge

SMS has secured a 12 month contract with 6 month extension options to provide personnel transfers during the construction of the new Queensferry Crossing. Based in Rosyth our 11m Cabin “Celtic Nomad” will provide transfer support out to the bridge towers. The Queensferry Crossing is currently the largest offshore construction project in Europe.

April 2015 - SMS heads back to Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm

Celtic Wanderer

SMS Ltd will once again be heading back to the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm to track Sandwich Terns around the site. This is our 5th year on site with Celtic Wanderer leaving Oban to begin work on the 1st of April for another 4 months. Here’s hoping for some decent weather!

September 2014 - SMS secures second contract with Briggs Marine and Environmental services

SMS Ltd has secured its second contract of the year with Briggs Marine providing one of its 11m Cabin RIBs for Personnel and Equipment Transfers in the Sound of Jura. Operating from our home base of Easdale near Oban the team MOB daily to Crinan to run engineers and riggers down to Carsaig Bay where the new Jura Subsea Cable is to be installed on behalf of SSE. Celtic Nomad will be available for hire once the job is completed around mid December 2014.

August 2014 - SMS ferries MP to Outer Isles

SMS were chartered by the office of the Secretary of State to Scotland Alasdair Carmichael to ferry him and a press group from Mallaig to the Islands of Eigg and Rhum. The Secretary of state was meeting locals of both islands during the run up to the referendum debate.

July 2014 - SMS Ltd to begin work with Marine Scotland

SMS has come to an agreement with Marine Scotland to provide one of its 11m Cabin RIBs to support its year round fishery protection programme. SMS are able to provide the fishery protection team with the flexibility to conduct patrols at random, dropping in on areas to help police Scotland’s fishing industry and to increase their visibility out on the water. Our specially designed bow loading platform allows the officers to board vessels should they choose to and the cabin provides a safe dry environment for long passages in unfavourable conditions.

March 2014

ECON

SMS has secured a two year extension for a Sandwich Tern Tracking survey for which we have been providing a 10m Open Rib for the last three years. The contract extension awarded to ECON - Ecological by Statoil will see Celtic Wanderer return to Wells-Next-The-Sea to work on the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm.
The contract extension now means that SMS Ltd will be running a total of four separate contracts at the same time split over 3 different countries with Celtic Voyager running our 4 year Northern Lighthouse Board contract out of Oban, Celtic Nomad in France with OpenHydro, Celtic Explorer out on the Isle of Tiree, and Celtic Wanderer down in Norfolk on the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm.

February 2014 - SMS secure contract with Briggs Marine and Environmental Services

SMS Ltd has secured a contract with Briggs Marine and Environmental Services to provide one of our 10m Open RIBs for Personnel and Equipment Transfers and Dive operations on the Isle of Tiree. The project is to lay a new subsea cable between Tiree and the neighbouring Island of Coll. The versatility of the vessel and our ability to operate as a self contained unit non reliant on any outside sources apart from fuel, was a major factor in securing the contract. After 10 days on the job, bad weather has put the brakes on and we are scheduled to restart at the end of March.

November - December 2013

Glensanda

SMS has once again been asked to provide Personnel Transfers to the Glensanda Quarry owned by Aggregate Industries for four weeks. Split between our two 11m Cabin RIBs Celtic Nomad and Celtic Voyager. The work scope included transfers to the quarry and its various associated vessels and the incoming transport ships 24 hours a day.

November 2013

Celtic Nomad

SMS has returned to France for the second time this year to support OpenHydro in their Tidal Turbine Installation. Celtic Nomad will be stationed in France until Mid 2014. As well as providing our usual Personnel and Equipment Transfer support our remit now includes providing support for the Data Downloads operation as well as being used as a Dive Platform for the divers from DCNS. We will also be trialing the new purpose built Access System on the Installation Barge. The system was built around the our 11m Cabin RIB for a perfect fit. The modifications required to our vessel will be done when she returns to the UK.
Celtic Nomad, on her return will spend a a couple of weeks in our workshops at North Ballahulish for a full refit ready for her next deployment.

"As always SMS Ltd have continued to offer an unparalleled service, being flexible in aproach and working in challenging conditions providing on time personnel and equipment transfer to our tidal turbine installation vessel." – Quentin Ryder - Marine Superintendant, OpenHydro.

October 2013

October has continued to be as busy with work continuing with TRAC engineering and the Northern Lighthouse Board.

We have also been involved with the Scottish Association for Marine Science using our 11m Cabin RIB to deploy their new drifter devices in the Firth of Lorn and the Great Race over a number of days. Due to the timing of the tides this was carried during the hours of day as well as daytime. As well as monitoring the tides the drifters were fitted with acoustic monitoring devices to detect marine mammals in the area. We look forward to seeing the results of the survey.

"As part of a long-term investigation in to how marine mammals use the Great Race tidal habitat, we engaged Specialised Marine Support to deploy and recover a number of drifters with passive acoustic porpoise click detectors attached. Skipper and crew were highly professional and accommodating in the face of several last-minute changes to the schedule. The equipment was deployed and retrieved without difficulty, and the detectors provided interesting results. The entire operation could not have gone better, in large part thanks to the assistance received from Seafari. "
– Dr. Steven Benjamins, Post Doctoral Research Associate, SAMS (Scottish Association for Marine Science)

September 2013

Having returned from France mid September SMS has been flat out supporting TRAC Engineering with the on going Fladda Lighthouse restoration works and with the Northern Lighthouse Board, transferring engineers to various lighthouses around the Argyll area.

August 2013 - SMS Ltd Provide Emergency Pilot Boat Cover

Due to a broken down pilot vessel up at the Glensanda Sandstone Quarry the team responded to an emergency call to take over as Pilot Vessel for some incoming shipping. The call was made at 1500 and "Celtic Voyager" was on site at 2030 ready to start. The call out has topped a busy month with almost daily work with the Northern Lighthouse Board and "Celtic Nomad" still on hire with OpenHydro in France.

August 2013 - SMS Ltd support the TRAC Engineering Fladda Lighthouse restoration

SMS Ltd has once again been called upon to support TRAC Engineering in their latest 10 day restoration project out at Fladda Lighthouse. Along with the daily personnel and equipment transfers "Celtic Voyager" remained on standby in case of emergency.

August 2013 – SMS Ltd returns to France

Having proved our capabilities in 2012, SMS Ltd has been asked to mobilise its 11m Cabin RIB to support OpenHydro for the second year running.

Based in Brest, France we will provide 24 hour Personnel Transfer and Safety Boat support for the duration of this year’s Tidal Turbine Installation project.

SMS Ltd Returns to Sherringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm (2013)

Celtic Wanderer

SMS Ltd has once again returned to the Sheringham Shoal offshore windfarm. Now in our third year of survey the windfarm has been completed and is fully operational with only a few vessels carrying out operations and maintenance on the site.

This year will hopefully give us a good indication as to the effects of Offshore Windfarms on Sandwich Terns.

SMS Secures Northern Lighthouse Board Zoned Boatman Contract For Another 4 Years (February 2013)

Specialised Marine Support has been awarded the zoned boatman contract for Oban and the surrounding areas for another 4 years. Having successfully completed the previous 4 year contract SMS is delighted to have secured the contract again, keeping us at the forefront of commercial passenger transport in Argyll.

SMS Wins OpenHydro Contract (Sept 2012)

SMS has signed a contract to provide PAX and equipment transfers and safety boat cover for OpenHydro during the testing and installation of their 16m, 2MW Tidal Turbine. Our latest 11m Cabin RIB “Celtic Nomad” has relocated to Brest in France for the duration of the project. SMS are proud to be supporting one of the leading developers in Tidal Turbine Technology.
"The flexibility of the skipper and crew to our needs was commendable and the service provided suited our needs admirably." – Neil Taggart, Project Manager – Operations and Testing, OpenHydro Ltd

"The crew of SMS carried out their contract with OpenHydro very effectively and efficiently and we hope to use their services in the future." – Eddie Mulgrew, Health and Safety Manager, OpenHydro Ltd

SMS Launch New 11m Cabin RIB (August 2012)

Specialised Marine Support has launched its new 11m Cabin RIB “Celtic Nomad” for sea trails. Based on our previous vessel she has been designed for PAX transfers and survey work. With a dual electronics suite and onboard CCTV recording she has been designed with usability and safety in mind.

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm (April - end July 2012)

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm Survey (May - end July 2011)
Specialised Marine Support has been chartered by ECON (Ecological Consultancy Ltd), on behalf of Statoil to provide a vessel to enable them to undertake a survey on the effects of Offshore Windfarm construction and operation on Sandwich Terns on the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm.

Specialised Marine Support is proud to be part of such a pioneering project. Celtic Nomad was mobilised within 24 hours from Oban to enable ECON to continue their survey without any further delays. The survey involves a very new method of tracking terns (developed by ECON) which involves tracking the terns across the windfarm site maintaining visual contact at all times. The site is extremely busy at the moment with no fewer than 12 support cats operating from the outer harbour, a piling ship, 2 other construction vessels and a cable laying ship as well as the flotel! The data being gathered, it is hoped, will enable ECON to determine whether Offshore Windfarms will have any effect on the behaviour patterns of Sandwich Terns in the vicinity. (24/7).

SMS to support the Scottish Association for Marine Science (June 2011 - 2012)

Here at SMS over the last few months, we have been working alongside one of the UK’s leading marine science research organisations based in Oban www.sams.ac.uk/. Andrew Dale from the Physical Oceanography department and his team have been working on a project monitoring tidal movements. Specially designed “drifter buoys” have been deployed via our 11m Cabin RIB “Celtic Voyager” at designated positions around the Corryvreckan whirlpool area.The team are then able to monitor and track the buoys movements via computer. Some of the buoys have also been fitted with cetacean monitoring equipment to enable them to monitor any data collected.
Having deployed the Drifter buoys, SMS locate and retrieve the buoys and Andy’s team then download the data information back at the research centre.

"Seafari have been extremely accommodating in responding to our requirements, including in the face of last minute changes of plan (as frequently happens in this type of work). They have always been helpful and interested in the research that we've been conducting. They are highly knowledgeable in the environment that they work in and in general have been a pleasure to work with." – Andrew Dale, Scottish Association for Marine Science.

SMS provides PAX transfer for Pelamis Wave Power in Orkney (August 2011)

Specialised Marine Support has been providing PAX and equipment transfers to Pelamis Wave Power during part of the installation of their new subsea cable. The cable will enable them to install a second wave machine at their Billia Croo test site off the west coast of Orkney.

With Celtic Navigators bow cabin door access and raised bow transfer system, transfers to the barge - operated by Delta Marine, were made safer and easier even in rougher sea conditions. We wish Pelamis Wave Power all the best with the installation of their new machine.

"A very safe, efficient and professional service. Thanks." – Martin Shaw, Pelamis Wave Power

Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm Survey (May - end July 2011)

Specialised Marine Support has been chartered by ECON (Ecological Consultancy Ltd), on behalf of Statoil to provide a vessel to enable them to undertake a survey on the effects of Offshore Windfarm construction and operation on Sandwich Terns on the Sheringham Shoal Offshore Windfarm. Specialised Marine Support is proud to be part of such a pioneering project.

Celtic Nomad was mobilised within 24 hours from Oban to enable ECON to continue their survey without any further delays. The survey involves a very new method of tracking terns (developed by ECON) which involves tracking the terns across the windfarm site maintaining visual contact at all times. The site is extremely busy at the moment with no fewer than 12 support cats operating from the outer harbour, a piling ship, 2 other construction vessels and a cable laying ship as well as the flotel! The data being gathered, it is hoped, will enable ECON to determine whether Offshore Windfarms will have any effect on the behaviour patterns of Sandwich Terns in the vicinity. (24/7).

Orkney Base - New for 2011

Specialised Marine Support has located its Cabin Boat "Celtic Navigator" to Orkney. The vessel has been relocated to provide crucial support to the offshore wave and tidal developers operating in the area.
The vessel is able to provide support to all kinds of operations from Passenger and Equipment Transport, Acoustic and Visual Survey Support and ROV Operation, to onsite support in the deployment of the wind and tidal generators.The vessel is also able to support other industries in the area in any way possible. We can MOB/DEMOB to any location around Orkney, the surrounding Islands and the N/E Coast of Scotland. If we are able to assist in any way please call our Orkney Hotline on 01856 859000 (24/7).

Eday Partnership (May - October 2010)

Our 11m Cabin RIB "Celtic Voyager" is currently on charter with the Eday Partnership on the Island of Eday, Orkney. The Eday Partnership have been trialling a Fast Ferry between the islands of Eday, Stronsay and Ronaldsay with Kirkwall on Orkney.

"Celtic Voyager" has proved to be an invaluable addition to the communities of these remote islands.

Northern Lighthouse Board (2009 - 2013)

Northern Lighthouse Board

We are currently contracted to supply zoned boat services (Oban and surrounding waters) to the Northern Lighthouse Board. We transported their engineers and other personnel as requested and sometimes at short notice.

Services have been provided as far afield as Canna, Coll and Islay as well as areas more immediate to Oban.

 
 

 

Contact Us

Specialised Marine Support Ltd
Easdale, Oban, Argyll, Scotland
PA34 4RQ