ABS awards world’s first notation recognising infectious disease mitigation

Source: press release, 8 February 2021

Tasik Subsea’s diving support vessel ‘Southern Star’
Tasik Subsea’s diving support vessel ‘Southern Star’ (photo: Tasik Subsea)

Tasik Subsea’s diving support vessel Southern Star has become the first ever to be awarded an ABS Infectious Disease Mitigation notation.

The ABS-classed vessel has met the requirements outlined in the ABS Guide for Mitigation of Infectious Disease Transmission On Board Marine and Offshore Assets, which was developed from a range of independent governmental and commercial guidance, including the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and published in November 2020.

The IDM-A (Infectious Disease Mitigation-Arrangements) notation is offered to vessels that meet the arrangement requirements addressing the configuration of spaces which can be used for the isolation and segregation of crew, passengers and onshore visitors, as well as the ventilation and interior surfaces of certain accommodation or working spaces.

“The notation breaks new ground for the industry, allowing operators and owners to clearly demonstrate that the risks of infectious outbreaks have been considered. Ensuring marine and offshore assets are operationally resilient to the impacts of infectious diseases is vital today and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. We are delighted to be able to support forward thinking operators such as Tasik Subsea and advance the cause of safety of crews and assets,” says Patrick Ryan, ABS Senior Vice President, Global Engineering and Technology.

Tasik CEO John Giddens says, “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 are pleased to now be able to benchmark our measures against an ABS Class standard and are proud to be the first in the world to achieve IDM-A Class notation,” he continues.

“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,” says Giddens.

In December of last year, ABS awarded Samsung Heavy Industries Approval in Principle for crew accommodation and ventilation systems on a crude oil tanker, a container carrier and an LNG carrier, designed to mitigate the spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19.