Of a new type and identical design, these will be deployed by the Elbe and NOK I pilots’ associations in the heavily frequented entrance to the Kiel Canal.
Around the clock and in all weather and all seas, these steel-hull craft with an aluminium superstructure ensure a rapid and safe transfer service.
Jörg Heinrich, Head of the Deepsea Shipping Division of the German Directorate-General for Waterways and Deepsea Shipping, commented: “These technically state-of-the-art craft will considerably improve working conditions and the transfer service for around 420 pilots on the Elbe and just before they enter the Kiel Canal.”
The shape of these ships has been adapted to the special conditions in their area of operations, e.g. short, high waves, as well as the special demands of the pilot transfer service in these pilotage waters. Among these are the short approach run to the vessel, safe running along the ship’s side, rapid casting off and turning away from ships served.
Captain Erik Dalege, Chairman-designate of the Federal Pilots Association, commented: “We pilots thank all those involved in development & construction and implementing this project that represents an important element for the future navigability of the Elbe and Kiel Canal waterways.”
These two pilot tenders are the first newbuilds to be constructed and certified as inland waterway craft in Sweden and then delivered to Germany.
Following the entry into service of six pilot transfer tenders for the Kiel Fjord and the Bay of Lübeck between 2009 and 2011, construction of the newbuilds ‘Dithmarschen’ and ‘Steinburg’ continues the generational change of pilot transfer tenders on the German coast.
Costs of the two ships totalled around eleven million euros.
Background: The ‘Dithmarschen’ was delivered last December to the Pilots’ Association that operates the vessels for the German Federal Government. The two new ships were built at the Dockstavarvet shipyard in Sweden. The yard possesses abundant knowhow and experience of building pilot transfer tenders for the North Sea and the Baltic.