Largest ship of its kind was visible waiting off Cornwall [Images]
by Stephen Hewitt | Published 24 June 2019
On 20 June 2019 the largest semi-submersible cargo ship in the world, the BOKA Vanguard, left the vicinity of Mount's Bay in Cornwall where she had been visible from the coast on many previous days.
By then over a month had passed since the ship was first seen in the area. Her presence had been the subject of news reports, including one from the BBC and one from the Daily Mail, both dated 13 May 2019.
The ship had an unusual and asymmetric appearance, like a low flat plank with towers near each of its four corners. One of the towers was bigger than the others and the opposite corner at the same end of the ship appeared to have more than one tower. The appearance attracted local interest and speculation.
One local man commented that the towers on the ship gave the impression of moving their positions, adding that he thought the effect was probably caused by the ship shifting round and changing his viewing angle.
A woman out for a walk on the cliff path in sight of the ship told me the “word on the street” about why the ship was off Cornwall.
On 18 June 2019 the communications department of the dutch ship operator Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. told Clarion: “The BOKA Vanguard finished a transport recently and is awaiting a confirmation for a next assignment likely in the Gulf of Mexico.”
In June 2019 corporate videos linked from a Boskalis website showed the BOKA Vanguard in action, illustrating the motivation for the ship's unusual appearance. Being semi-submersible means having the capability to sink the deck below the sea, leaving only the upper part of each tower above water. A cargo - such as another ship or part of an oil rig - can then be floated over the deck and the ship raised again, seating the cargo on deck.
- Display of the moths found in a Cornish garden managed for wildlife 23 June 2019 at Lethytep, Penadlake, Lanreath, PL13 2PG
- gCaptain article: Goliat FPSO Prepares for 60-Day Voyage Aboard the Dockwise Vanguard [IMAGES] Rob Almeida , gCaptain, 10 February 2015
- Boskalis magazine article: Flawless float-over Boskalis magazine, Issue 5 / January 2018
- reNEWS article: VBMS becomes Boskalis reNEWS, 30 April 2018
- Daily Mail/ Mailonline article: World's biggest semi-submersible ship ... is spotted off Cornwall Emer Scully, Daily Mail/ Mailonline, 13 May 2019
- BBC article: An even keel for 275m semi-submersible ship off Cornwall Andrew Segal, BBC, 13 May 2019