Aberdeen firm Craig Group to invest £70m in new rescue vessels

IMT 958 ERRV The new emergency response and rescue vessels will be used in waters off the UK

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Aberdeen-based shipping firm Craig Group is to invest £70m in six new vessels as part of a drive to modernise and expand its fleet.

The emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) will be used for UK offshore activities.

They will replace existing tonnage within Craig Group's 36-strong fleet.

The vessels will be built at the Balenciaga Shipyard in Northern Spain for delivery between 2014 and early 2016.

Craig Group has now invested more than £230m in 22 new vessels since 2003.

The latest new-builds include four 50m D Class vessels, which will be outfitted with at least one daughter craft and one fast rescue craft. Two slightly larger F Class vessels will also be brought into service.

'Significant investment'

Craig Group chairman and managing director Douglas Craig said: "This significant investment is part of our continued drive to operate the largest and most modern wholly British-owned fleet engaged in the UK offshore industry.

"A new-build programme of this size and scale underlines our commitment to the marine industry and means that we continue to offer our customers an unrivalled service."

Craig Group's fleet includes a mix of platform supply, tanker assist, remotely operated vehicle (ROV) support and emergency response and rescue vessels.

In April the company's North Star Shipping division won a £63m five-year contract to support BP's operations in the North Sea.

Under the deal, it is providing tanker assist, platform supply and emergency and response rescue vessels.

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