Known as ROSS (Remotely Operated Services at Sea), the initiative was successfully demonstrated by SeaOwl last week.

What is more, ROSS retrofitted, Bureau Veritas classed, supply ship ‘VN Rebel’ was operated by a SeaOwl captain based in Paris.

In fact, Paris captain was able to take and maintain command of the ‘VN Rebel’ navigating off the French Mediterranean port of Toulon with full remote control of the ship.

Furthermore, the vessel was sailing under the required authorizations from the French flag, ensuring compliance with the IMO resolution for the trial of Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships* (MASS).

For the records, this is the first time that this resolution has been applied in France to a ship of this size.

This methodology is based on the work carried out by the International Maritime Organization. It is based on analyses to identify the risks resulting from this new technology and to define the most appropriate solutions to reduce these risks. This work also aims to establish equivalence with a conventional vessel with personnel on board.

....Department of Maritime Affairs noted.

The analysis also included the corresponding remote operations of the machinery including engine, dynamic positioning (DP) provided by Sirehna (also a partner in the project) and the cybersecurity of the system.

Following this successful demonstration, the next step for SeaOwl is to validate the concept of ROSS onboard a newbuilding designed to provide services to offshore platforms.

It is a pleasure to test our guidance (NI 641) in a concrete project like ROSS. It confirms the need to have a thorough risk assessment of the different remotely operated functions, identifying all potential operational scenarios and challenges. The success of the ROSS project is full of promise as to the quality of future relations between actors and authorities for future developments.

...Jean-Baptiste Gillet, Advanced Services Director, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore.