It’s time once again in Logos Hope’s calendar for the ship’s annual maintenance period. At the Damen shipyard in Curaçao, the now 48-year-old vessel will be taken out of the water for legally required inspections to ensure she continues to serve at sea safely.
Third Mate Matthew Mullins (Ireland) explains: “Dry dock is very important for ships to keep them running at their best. It's a time where we can work on major maintenance projects that can't be done when the ship is in normal operation.”
Skilled crewmembers will spend the coming month servicing deck and engine equipment, life-saving appliances and fire-fighting apparatus as part of the renewal of the mandatory Passenger Ship Safety Certificate.
While non-technical crewmembers disembark to outreaches on shore and make way for the work to be carried out, professionals from around the world fly to Logos Hope to help. Dry dock project manager, Georg Gamauf (Austria) has come from the organisation’s shore office in Germany for the eighth time, to supervise the work.
Georg says, “This year we have to work on a special survey which is conducted every five years, so there will be a lot of inspections and we have fewer project workers on board, due to travel restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic. Our engineers will be working to overhaul generator number three, which produces electricity for the ship. Because of COVID-19, everything is more challenging and uncertain than normal. We can’t plan the same way we usually do and we have to trust God more than ever. Prayers are needed.”
The maintenance team will set about repairing the ship’s air conditioning system while the audio-visual team works on moving lights, updating schematics and checking cables in the vessel’s public event spaces. The housekeeping team will use the time to shampoo carpets and deep-clean rooms.
Chief Mate Jas Soler (Philippines) explains, “This is when we are able to take out, assess and fix parts we would not be able to get to when the ship is in the water or at full capacity. Maritime industry governing bodies send inspectors to renew their certification so that our ministry can continue for the coming year.”
Around one-third of the usual complement, 140 crewmembers, will remain on the vessel for the month-long period of work. Families with children will move to more suitable accommodation on shore and the rest of the ship’s company will join various projects across the island of Curaçao, including a clean-up and building project at a youth centre.
Sam (France) manages the non-technical logistics. He says, “As Logos Hope crew, we want to bless organisations and churches through meaningful and practical help, so that they can develop their outreach to local communities.”
[This article's image shows the last time Logos Hope’s annual maintenance was carried out in the same dockyard in Curaçao, in 2017.]