On 3 March, the Port of Gdansk Authority SA presented its latest investment projects aimed at increasing the safety level at the port to a range of eminent guests, including representatives of the local authorities, municipal authorities, the Maritime Office, the State Commission on Maritime Accident Investigation, the uniformed services and port operators.
The initiative included four projects to a total amount of PLN 15 million, which were co-financed under the 2007-2013 Infrastructure and Environmental Operational Programme, Priority 7, Environment-friendly transport, measure 7.2. Two of them concerned the purchase of vessels, another one involved the modernisation of the Strazak 6 fire and rescue vessel, while the fourth project concerned the organisation of a specialist new PGA SA Rescue Centre.
The newly purchased vessels include a quick response environmental rescue vessel and a hydrographic and inspection vessel. The daily use of the former (named Piorun – Polish for “thunderbolt”) will focus mainly on reconnaissance and patrolling activities, but the potential and equipment on the vessel guarantee full effectiveness in conditions requiring rescue, environmental and fire-fighting interventions. The vessel is equipped with a water cannon with a range of 70 m and a capacity of 1,900 l/min., a fire pump with a capacity of 2,450 l/min., and a foam compound tank with a capacity of 300 l. It has two 242.6 kW diesel engines which enable the vessel to speed up to more than 40 knots.
The second vessel (named Portowiec – Polish for “docker”) – is a hydrographic and inspection motor boat, which will guard the hydrographic safety of the Port of Gdansk and will additionally be used to make specialist environmental measurements of the basin and hydrological measurements of the bottom. Thanks to its complete, state-of-the-art equipment, it will also be possible to conduct hydroacoustic trawling activities on the waters of the port and the Gulf of Gdansk and examine the quality of the vertical sheet pile walls in the port quays. It will also make it possible to search for, identify and locate obstructions and underwater objects and detect hazards to the water environment – mechanical objects and physicochemical hazards.
The Port of Gdansk Authority SA also thoroughly modernised the Strazak 6 fire and rescue vessel. The modernisation works included an exchange of fire pumps and water cannon along with a modernisation of the water fire-protection system for the new devices (new pumps with a capacity of 13,300 l/min., water cannon with a capacity of 8,000 l/min., automatically controlled from the bridge) and an exchange of power generators. Its class was also renewed along with a necessary overhaul, the scope of which met the requirements of the Classification Society – Polski Rejestr Statkow SA (Polish Register of Shipping).
Moreover, a 3.1-meter-long rigid-inflatable boat (RIB) with an engine and accessories, a spill containment barrier making it possible to quickly prevent dangerous substances from spilling all over the basins, and an oily water separator for cleaning contaminated water collected during rescue operations were purchased and installed. Additionally, the vessel was equipped with an electric capstan, a navigation plotter and an Automatic Identification System (AIS).
The fourth and last project is the organisation of the Rescue Centre. The undertaking was financed largely from the Port of Gdansk Authority SA’s own resources.
The centre will bring together all of the services responsible for safety at the port, i.e. the port dispatcher, head of the Port Security Guard, and the Port Fire Brigade dispatcher. They will all be available under one emergency number, 111, in order to shorten the time of gathering information about any events as much as possible, and thus increase the chances to save people’s lives and health, or protect the environment. The centre will also enable full coordination of the port’s services, including the Port Master, the National Fire Service, the Police, and Emergency Services.
In the future, the monitoring centre at the Rescue Centre will also be equipped with a new CCTV system, which is currently being developed. It is intended to support the staff with intelligent image analysis technologies and dedicated technologies for limited visibility conditions, which will ultimately shorten the time of response to hazards and facilitate the elimination of their negative effects.
Photos: D.Dulian, G.Mierkiewicz/Port of Gdansk Authority