Tasik Subsea DP3 dive support vessel Southern Star is the first ship in the world to receive IDM-A (Infectious Disease Mitigation – Arrangements) class notation from U.S. classification and technical advisory ABS.
Following the outbreak of the worldwide pandemic, American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) introduced its first IDM-A Class Notation and the Tasik vessel now secured this accreditation as the first in line.
Specifically, the new class is a gold standard on how to first prevent any new outbreak and, if that isn’t successful, how to mitigate any impact caused by COVID-type diseases. It provides guidance on effective preparation, prevention, and management protocols.
Southern Star has proved to ABS’ surveyors that is has: developed detailed procedures to deal with crew changes to prevent infectious diseases entering the ship; contain any disease if there should be an outbreak; and sensible plans to evacuate any serious cases for treatment.
It has also designed a safety ‘citadel’ within the ship by modifying AC/ventilation systems, changing exhaust air routes, changing taps to hands free and segregating the citadel by doors. This allows cabins to rapidly convert to isolation spaces.
Tasik Subsea CEO, John Giddens, said:
“Like many others we realised an outbreak of COVID onboard our vessel would be a personal and commercial disaster for our crew, our clients and for our company. It would result in stopping the vessel’s work and forcing it to a quarantine anchorage for an extended period, with no movement of people on or off the vessel while the medical issues for our marine and project crew were dealt with.
“As a result, we’ve been carefully managing our operations and implementing measures to protect our crew and vessel from COVID-19 since early last year.
“We could not have achieved this without the diligent assistance of ABS, the support of our client, Shelf Subsea and the Ship Manager, Thome Offshore who worked diligently on the hard and soft issues.’
ABS IDM-A standard has codified best practice, according to Pier Carazzai, vice president, South Pacific Region, Global Business Development “It provides confidence for operators on managing their offshore operations in a pandemic. Given the environment on marine and offshore assests is restricted, infectious diseases have the potential to spread raidly.”