For Dubai-based, Fleet Superintendent, Murat Acar, what should have been a routine trip to attend a docking and scrubber retrofit in Oman led to him being unable to return for 130 days due to the Covid-19 global lockdown.
Murat travelled to the Duqm Shipyard in Oman on March 14 to attend the docking and scrubber retrofit on an oil tanker. Due to an increase in the tanker market, the owner decided not to dock the vessel but trade it and take an extension on its docking. After some minor work in port, the vessel left Oman on March 19.
By this time, the governments of both Dubai and Oman had introduced stringent shutdowns to combat the growing global pandemic leaving Murat facing the prospect of a long-stay in Oman despite efforts by the Dubai office to arrange his safe return.
With the owner deciding to dock in Oman and carry out a scrubber retrofit on a second vessel, Murat used his initiative to get the job done and provide flawless service delivery to the customer despite him being largely confined to his hotel room.
Murat, who is now safely home after spending 130 days in Oman, explains that given the travel ban in Oman, no technicians could travel to the shipyard, “So I bought a GoPro helmet mounted camera and used it throughout the docking and scrubber retrofit as it enabled me to upload all the videos straight to the Cloud. I was then able to discuss any challenges and solutions with the manufacturers and owners directly as they could see what I saw.
“Of course there were challenges with this type of remote assistance, but by using this technology the whole project was completed seamlessly and, most importantly, to the satisfaction of the customer under very unusual and stressful conditions. So much so, that the ship’s owners are using the same process for their own managed vessel.
“Given the success of this project, I believe the use of this type of technology is how all inspections, audits and surveys will be carried out in the future.”