New survey ship to help enhance maritime safety

2023-10-16 China Daily Editor:Li Yan

The deployment of Haixun 08, the largest and most advanced surveying ship in China's maritime safety system, will extensively improve the country's oceanographic research and its support capability for maritime industries, according to the ship's chief designer.

Ye Hao from the Marine Design and Research Institute of China in Shanghai, a subsidiary of China State Shipbuilding Corp, said that Haixun 08 is mainly tasked with surveying underwater conditions and hydrological information along sea lanes. It is also capable of conducting scientific operations, emergency search and rescue missions as well as wreck location.

"If we wish to guarantee the smooth and safe operation of ships, we'd better know clearly about the natural conditions of sea lanes such as the depth of water, the ocean currents and the geological structures of the seabed," Ye said on the sidelines of the four-day China Marine Equipment Expo 2023, which concluded on Sunday.

The expo is one of the largest events of the nation's marine and shipbuilding sectors. A total of 715 enterprises and research bodies took part in the expo, displaying more than 6,500 products and technologies.

Until now, some small vessels were used for surveying sea lanes, but these are only able to operate in coastal waters, and many of them have become old, Ye said. "Considering the fact that our shipping companies operate worldwide, it was necessary to build a new, advanced vessel for survey work in distant oceans."

Haixun 08 is equipped with state-of-the-art measurement and positioning apparatus. It also features a strong data-processing capacity, which will allow researchers to analyze and use related information onboard the vessel rather than having to transmit data back to ground-based processing facilities like earlier, the chief engineer said.

According to the Marine Design and Research Institute of China, the ship is 123.6 meters long, 21.2 meters wide and has a displacement of more than 8,200 metric tons. Its maximum speed is 16 knots (30 kilometers per hour). It can operate in all oceans, except in the polar regions, and is capable of sailing more than 33,000 kilometers in a single voyage.

Haixun 08 can accommodate up to 100 sailors and researchers and can independently work as long as 60 days, without needing to be refueled and resupplied.

Construction of the vessel started in December 2019 at Jiangnan Shipyard in Shanghai. The vessel's main frame was completed in July 2022, and then it continued to be mounted with equipment and carried out several trial operations.

The ship was formally commissioned to the Shanghai-based Eastern Navigation Service Center of the Maritime Safety Administration on Sept 21.

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