August 28 - Sevenstar Exceptional Marine Transport (Sevenstar EMT) has completed the transport of two 360-tonne US marine patrol crafts from Norfolk, Virginia to the port of Bahrain on board the semi-submersible vessel Super Servant 4.

The two patrol boats, Monsoon and Hurricane, along with associated containerised equipment, were floated onboard the Super Servant 4 in Norfolk under the guidance of Sevenstar's loadmaster Andriy Antonenko.

He explained that due to the US Navy's requirements, the two precious boats needed more attention to securing than usual, and extra blocking had to be specifically fabricated for the shipment.

John Kamp, manager of operations at Sevenstar, told HLPFI that this was a particularly special project for the company, due to the high profile nature of the transport and the in-depth planning that was required to complete the shipment.

Planning for the delivery of the boats began in February, and the physical loading of the cargo onboard the semi-submersible vessel took almost three weeks of high level engineering and preparations due to US Navy regulations, and additional safety requirements.

Once the boats were on board and the vessel refloated, the cargo was transported to Bahrain via the Suez canal, in a voyage that took one month.

The boats were floated off the vessel in Bahrain, which Antonenko explained was much simpler than the loading process, with Super Servant 4 remaining in Bahrain's Khalifa Bin Salman port for just three days, before sailing to a shipyard for maintenance and repair works.

This was the first project of its type that Sevenstar has undertaken for the US Navy, but Kamp said that the company is confident that it will be able to do more similar business for the US Navy and other military clients in the future.

The 17,600 dwt Super Servant 4 is a semi-submersible heavy lift vessel operated by Dockwise Yacht Transport, which was sold to Sevenstar in October 2013.

Sevenstar Exceptional Marine Transport is part of the Spliethoff Group, which is one of the largest ship management companies in the Netherlands.