Photo of the week: All at sea?


A shipping company’s experiment drew a crowd to Bredene’s beach this week


Visitors to Bredene yesterday got an unexpected view when they looked out to sea: a huge industrial ship, apparently beached.

It was part of an exercise by shipping company P&O Maritime Logistics, whose crew are responsible for laying electricity cables between wind turbine at sea and the mainland. The company wanted to demonstrate that it’s possible to intentionally strand a ship without sustaining damage, allowing it to carry out its work more efficiently and safely.

“By coming close to the land, it allows the cables to be installed much more precisely,” P&0 spokesperson Koenraad Vanhevel. The specialist ship – measuring 92x24 metres – lays out the cable on the beach where a crane picks it up; the ship then sails towards the windfarm, unrolling the cable behind it, so that it can be connected. Vanevel: “It is quite a complicated operation to manoeuvre the ship into the correct position and ground it without damaging it.”

This is the first time such an experiment has been carried out in Belgium and the engineers responsible hope to be able to do it for other companies shortly.

Photo: Belga/Kurt Desplenter