Hochschule Bremen - University of Applied Sciences

Hochschule Bremen

Naval Architecture Students of the UAS Bremen Design Rescue Vessels for Refugees in the Mediterranean

Up-to-date project for the master course of Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering
The number of refugees in the Mediterranean has been increasing over the last year. Crowded and non-seaworthy boats equipped with minimum food and fuel supplies are sent by ruthless traffickers into the unknown. This is where students of the mastercourse of Naval Architecture and Ocean engineering of Bremen University of Applied Sciencesstarted: they designed for a virtual Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) two ships of different size for search and rescue operations to find boat refugees in the Mediterranean. Additionally those vessels should fulfill a secondary purpose.

As a result of this project the 94m long Search-And-Rescue (SAR) newbuilt "Nausicaa" with additional hospital capacities and the 55m long retrofit "Ray of Hope", a combined SAR and survey vessel could be presented. The vessels can host up to 300 or 66 refugees, respectively. Furthermore they are equipped with daughter boats to guarantee safe transfer between the trafficker boats and the SAR vessels.


As a combined SAR and hospital vessel the Nausikaa (94m long, 17m wide and up to 20kn (37 km/h) fast) can also provide medical care in remote distressed areas with its own containerized hospital and operational theatre. The low depth of 6.4m at a draught of 5.2m facilitates the boarding of castaways. In the style of the proven SAR-vessels of the German Maritime Search and Rescue Association (DGzRS), the ship is equipped with three high-powered daughter boats, which in total can hold up to 120 persons. The boats can be released via a slipway or in harsh sea conditions via a davit system.
On board of the mother vessel the castaways can be treated medically in a transit area and will be accommodated in 8-bed cabins on several multi-purpose-decks. The medical facilities contain besides treatment rooms an Intensice Care Unit (ICU) and a quarantine ward as well as an operational theatre which can be used in the hospital mode. The provision of the refugees will be provided via the onboard kitchen which can prepare up to 1000 meals per day.

To convert the "Nausikaa" into a hospital ship 9 container slots are available. So additionally to the
onboard capacities a containerized hospital providing Ear-Nose-Treatment (ENT), dentist and a labatory including Radiology can be installed ashore and supplied via the ship's own infrastructure. With this equipment up to 58 people can be treated per day. The multi-purpose deck can also be converted into a regular ward with a capacity of 40 beds and cabins for medical personnel.
For support during SAR operations a helicopter can use a landing platform, which is also used for launching drones, which can conduct aerial surveillance. And even for fire fighting the Nausicaa is equipped.

The vessel being classed as an offshore-service vessel thus fulfilling all relevant regulations and provides even with maximum number of 335 persons on board, enough space in lifeboats.

"Ray of Hope"
During the planning and construction of a SAR vessel for saving castaways in the Mediterranean it seemed most suitable for time and cost reasons to retrofit an existing vessel as an alternative to a newbuilding. As a basis the MV Aurelia from the Bremen based Ship-owner "Hempel Shipping Ltd." was used. The 55m long survey vessel, which had been designed as a fish trawler, currently is underway on the 7 seas. Due to the friendly support by the owner Christoph Hempel with the provision of all relevant information on the existing vessel, this project could be conducted close to reality. A short stop of the MV Aurelia in Bremen, gave the students the opportunity to inspect the vessel and its constructional conditions and clarify questions directly on board.
With the "Ray of Hope" a ship has been designed, which can monitor a large area with its own surveillance drone and hence can find castaways pretty fast, despite its relatively low speed. The ship provides sheltered places for 71 people. A medical treatment as well as a provision with food, water and medication can be achieved with onboard means. In case of a larger number of refugees, the ship can also take up to 550 persons on board without endangering itself.

The design speed is 10 kn (18.5 km/h) for patrolling and the maximum speed is 16kn (29.6 km/h).
The patrol speed is achieved with one electro-motor, while for the maximum speed the main engine is deployed to rush to the scene of emergency.
The winching area in the aft of the vessel can be used to disembark people with a helicopter and it can be used as a platform to launch the surveillance drone. The adjacent area allows for the storage of two containers for additional equipment.

To realize other tasks than SAR during the life-time of the vessel the A-frame on starboard and the moon pool were kept. With this equipment and additional cabins for scientists the ship can be used as a survey-vessel.

veröffentlicht am 2015-04-24 08:04



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