French sea rescue association Société Nationale de Sauvetage en Mer (SNSM) is set to revitalise its rescue capabilities within the Gulf of Morbihan with a new boat, currently under construction at Alumarine Shipyard. The forthcoming SNS 277, scheduled for delivery in early 2018, will replace the 1999-built, 9.5m x 3.4m SNS 282, which has served the SNSM in the Gulf of Morbihan, south of Brittany, for nearly 20 years. In 2014, Alumarine helped the SNSM to upgrade its fleet with the delivery of SNS 275, which has helped the SNSM to provide rescue services to the waters of Le Barcares in the country’s south.
In some respects, SNS 277 will be similar to SNS 275, Alumarine tells Ship & Boat International: the vessels will share “the same size, same hull shape and same asymmetric wheelhouse,” the company says. And, as with SNS 275, SNS 277 was designed in collaboration between Alumarine and Geronimo Naval Design. Therefore, particulars will include: an overall length of 11.59m; a maximum breadth of 3.75m; a maximum draught of 1.05m, fully laden; an overall weight of approximately 8.5tonnes; a fuel capacity of 800litres; and the capacity for four members of crew and up to 10 casualties. SNS 277’s hull and superstructure will be fashioned from aluminium and she will incorporate a planing hull. Classification has been entrusted to Bureau Veritas.
The main differences between SNS 277 and her predecessor, then, concern deck layout and the positioning of the equipment, Alumarine says, adding: “For example, the sea rescuers in the Gulf of Morbihan will not use an inflatable boat on the rear deck but will require a clear rear deck for helicopter hoisting and diving operations. So there is no RIB and no winch on the rear deck of SNS 277.”
Alumarine continues: “The bollard has been moved forward and lowered to further improve manoeuvrability, while the lifting boom position has been improved to further facilitate rescue operations.” SNS 277 will also be more ‘high-tech’ than SNS 275: for example, SNS 277 will be the first SNSM rescue boat to benefit from internet connectivity, thus granting her crew the ability to oversee telemedical / telediagnostical procedures as well as to access weather services and to swap pics and data with onshore medical specialists.
SNS 277’sdeck area will be ringed with handrails for extra crew safety. The deck has been designed to be as flat and clear as possible, enabling rescuers to stretcher casualties and facilitate helicopter hoisting. The aft deck area will span more than 10m² of clear space for rescue operations.
Lateral side hulls and a double door at the rear of the wheelhouse will make it relatively easy to transport a stretchered casualty around and inside the vessel, and to undertake medical evacuations. To facilitate dive operations, a removable ladder can be placed on either port or starboard side, while the winch drum and rear bollard will give SNS 277 a towing capacity of 1.5tonnes. The vessel’s lifting boom on the port side uses safety nets to ‘scoop’ casualties out of the water.
The asymmetric wheelhouse design will grant the boat a wide port side-deck whilst, inside, this section will be split into two separate areas: a helmsman’s station and a casualty care/recovery zone.
Volvo Penta has been selected to provide SNS 277’s engines and stern drives. A pair of Volvo D6-330 engines, rated approximately 246kW apiece, will power the boat. Combined with her planing hull, which also confers good wave crossing and transversal stability in gyration, this engine set-up will enable SNS 277 to begin planing rapidly and achieve speeds within the 15-25knots band, increasing to 30knots max.