The Rix Lion, which was recently adapted into a 24-seat vessel to fulfil a contract at Scotland’s largest offshore windfarm.
Nick Hill

Rix Sea Shuttle makes six-figure investment in crew transfer vessel to fulfil Scottish offshore contract

Rix Sea Shuttle, the offshore crew transfer specialist, has doubled the passenger capacity of one of its vessels to fulfil a contract at Scotland’s largest wind farm.

The Hull-based company invested a six-figure sum to increase the Rix Lion’s carrying capacity from 12 to 24 passengers, to complete the contract at Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Ltd near Wick.

As a result of the investment, Rix Sea Shuttle now has the UK’s largest fleet of 24-passenger vessels working in the offshore industry today.

All six vessels in the fleet are contracted to wind farms in UK and European waters.

James Doyle, managing director of Rix Sea Shuttle, said there had been a shift away from smaller ships in recent years, towards those that can carry more engineers and technicians.

The company has therefore became one of the first operators to commission 24-capacity vessels, but still retained smaller ships to service the near-shore windfarms.

Mr Doyle said: “When we reviewed our fleet mix, we evaluated all courses of action and decided that extending the Lion was the most cost-effective solution. It was certainly cheaper and quicker than commissioning a new 24-passenger ship and finding second hand boats of that size on the market is impossible.

“The work was carried out by Dunston (Ship Repairs) in Hull, who are reconfiguring the interior to covert the boat without compromising on the deck space or comfort of the crew. The ship has now been certified and has gone straight to work.”

On certification, the Rix Lion went up to Wick to work on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm, replacing the Rix Lynx on the project.

The Lynx returned to Grimsby to join its sister vessel, the Rix Leopard, at Hornsea Project One – the world’s largest wind farm.

Mr Doyle added: “When we started in this industry in 2012, our intention was to establish ourselves as a niche operator of the highest quality. By providing quality vessels and an excellent service, and by quickly adapting to changing market needs, such what we have done with the Rix Lion, I think we have achieved that.

“As the sector matures and the developed world relies more and more on wind power as a primary source of energy, we hope to have many further successes in the future.”

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