SeaKing Saves Turtles

Birkenhead based marine engineering firm SeaKing Electrical is using its skill and expertise to save endangered sea turtles after completing a brief for a pipe laying vessel operating off the Australian coast.

The Seven Seas will be involved in the Chevron-operated Gorgon Gas Project near Barrow Island Western Australia.

It has recently undergone a transformation to keep in line with environmental guidelines for the area addressing one of the biggest threats to turtles – artificial light from boats.

Turtles and hatchlings are drawn towards light from vessels where they are exposed to heightened danger from predators.

The Government of Western Australia’s Environmental Protection Authority has produced guidelines on the amount of light ships should emit in a bid to protect the marine creatures.

SeaKing Electrical Group business development manager Neil Mellenchip said the firm delivered a specialist external lighting project to help the Seven Seas adapt to these measures.

The vessel is owned by Subsea7 and operates in water depths up to 3,000m laying pipe cables for the transmission of oil and gas.

“This was a fascinating project to be involved in including both environmental and conservation aspects.” said Mr Mellenchip. “The Seven Seas has been reequipped by SeaKing engineers to reduce light emitted by the vessel. A team of SeaKing engineers spent a week installing a range of light filters on the vessel. The installation work was completed at Merwede yard in the Netherlands. Work involved applying filters to the vessels external lighting systems to counteract the light wavelength, intensity and glow. These measures will greatly affect the way the turtles react to the light. The completion of the job ensures that the lighting levels on the vessel comply with the new Australian regulations and will crucially help to protect turtles from dangers caused by light disturbance.”

All six species of marine turtles found in Western Australia are listed under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 as threatened species.

Mr Mellenchip said that the firm’s engineers have recently undertaken work in the Republic of Congo, France, Egypt, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Holland.

Further work has recently seen the firm delivering a lighting infrastructure project with Liet Corp Ocean LED on board three DFDS Seaways ferries. The work took place in dry docks in Dunkirk, France helping to drive life-expectancy and energy rates.

“These international contracts demonstrate our ability to plan and execute complex overseas installations,” said Mr Mellenchip. “The service we offer is flexible, timely and cost effective giving it worldwide appeal. We have a workforce of more than 130 skilled technicians capable of delivering complete mechanical and electrical packages. Our core expertise lies in the construction, modification and refurbishment of electrical control and distribution hardware. We further provide solutions for system engineering, power generation, lighting and software upgrades. Aside from maintaining a strong presence in the military, commercial and superyacht sectors a core focus for 2013 will be to drive business growth and profile in new markets including the offshore renewables sector.

Recent Posts