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Baby born on Regina Seaways

Last weekend was exceptional for the Regina Seaways crew – a baby girl was born on a sailing from Klaipėda to Kiel.

It was early Saturday morning, 4:16 to be exact, that a passenger gave birth to a baby girl in a cabin. The ferry was in mid sail to Kiel as a woman started to feel that she was about to give birth. The crew followed the procedures and made an announcement asking for any doctors on board. A German paediatrician answered the call and together with Head of Services Indrė Vaškytė she welcomed the baby in the cabin.

The captain called for help from the shore, and a helicopter from Poland took the baby and the mother to the nearest hospital.

According to the father of the newborn, who was also on the ferry, it was a preterm birth so the baby had to be placed into an incubator. Fortunately both mother and daughter are healthy and fine.

“It was truly an extraordinary event. We can only be thankful and happy that all went well. I cannot be prouder of the crew and of course Head of Services Indrė Vaškytė, who demonstrated sharp thinking and no hesitation in this situation. Of course, many thanks to the doctor who was on board, too. The crew is now joking that the captain should be her godfather, and that the baby girl ought to be named Regina,” says On-board Operations Supervisor Karolis Dobrovolskas.

Eco-friendly ballast water on DFDS’ ships

Watch this video showing the installation of a new ballast water treatment system on Regina Seaways. Enjoy a tour of the 3D model environment and a time-lapse series of the yard installation.

As you may know, water is used as ballast on board ships to maintain safe operating conditions during a voyage by improving stability, reducing stress on the hull, and improving propulsion efficiency.

Last year, DFDS initiated a programme for installing ballast water treatment systems (BWTS) on all vessels in our fleet in order to support the marine environment and to comply with the international convention on ballast water management. The system prevents the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species through the use of ballast water on ships operating across different regions. This is done mechanically, using a combination of filtration and UV radiation to render the organisms non-viable.

For the last six months, the project team has been busy clarifying the batch 2020 ships’ system capacity needs, developing the new ship specific documentation, obtaining required approvals from the maritime authorities and planning the yard installations.

Jacob Johannesen, Project Manager & Naval Architect, Newbuilding & Major Conversions, says: “It is a challenging task to install the system with all its auxiliary components in an already-crowded machinery area. DFDS has teamed up with a design facility that uses a 3D scan of the relevant spaces to model the installation in a point cloud environment. This helps reduce the margin of error in the design and the installation time required.”

Five BWTS installations already in place

During the first two months of 2020, five BWTS installations have been made: Côte des Flandres, Regina Seaways, Dunkerque Seaways, Delft Seaways and Seven Sisters now all clean the water thoroughly before sending it back into the sea.

“Many colleagues within the organisation are involved with the programme during the different phases. However, a special thank-you must go to our good colleagues in Technical Organisation who are ensuring timely installations at the yard,” says Jacob.

Sofie Hebeltoft, Head of CSR, says: “Supporting the marine environment is part of our CSR strategy, and the installation of BWTS is an important part of this. It’s great to see how this is actually brought to life, both with the 3D simulation and the time-lapse film. Thank you to the team for sharing this with us.”

The programme will continue until end of 2024.

Fleet changes secure capacity after Regina incident

We do not yet know when the damage to Regina Seaways’ engine will be fully repaired, and this means she will be sailing with reduced speed until further.

“Therefore, we have decided a few changes to best ensure a continued good service for our customers,” says Aleksej Slipenciuk, Route Director, Klaipeda-Kiel.

From Monday 8 October:

Regina Seaways will start on the Klaipeda-Karlshman route were speed is less needed.

Athena Seaways will make a roundtrip on Klaipeda-Kiel on Saturday 6 October and stay on this route until further.

Patria Seaways and Maestro Universe will both be making two weekly roundtrips on Klaipeda-Karlshamn and one on Klaipeda-Kiel.

“I am very pleased with this as it secures our capacity, including the extended capacity until Christmas, which our customers need”, says Anders Refsgaard, VP and Head of BU Baltic.

Regina Seaways: Crew did great

Yesterday, when the fire alarm sounded on Regina Seaways, the crew started assembling passengers at the muster stations to prepare for an evacuation as the CO2 fire extinguishing system has been activated, however, the crew was able to determine that there was no heat development quite early on and therefore no fire. After a couple of hours, the crew had ventilated the engine room and the damage could be inspected.

The crew succeeded in starting the other of the two main engines, allowing the ship to continue her journey towards Klaipeda, albeit at a slower pace of 11-12 knots.

At about 09:00 PM CET, the cargo could be discharged, and the passengers were able continue their journey with a delay of approximately five hours.

The professional crew kept things calm on board, and the extra waiting time was made a lot more pleasant by 64 young musicians, who were on their way from Kiel to a performance in Mazeikiai. In the aftermath of the emergency, they entertained the passengers with some great music, as you can see in the photo that was taken when the ship was still without propulsion.

“It is very unfortunate when we have such incidents, and I hope that our passengers arrived at their destinations without too much delay. From what we have heard and seen, the crew did a fantastic job taking care of the customers on board and getting the engine running again. Therefore, our great appreciation goes to Captain Andrejus Simutis and his crew as well as the many people ashore who supported the ship, coordinated things and took good care of the passengers and  cargo at arrival in Klaipeda. We must always do our best to avoid these incidents, but there are no guarantees that such incidents can ever be completely avoided. Therefore, it is very comforting to see how well everyone acted at sea and ashore to handle and coordinate things with the best interest of our passengers and customers in mind. Thank you to everyone,” says Niels Smedegaard.

The initial reports of a fire on board spread fast in the media, but they came from other sources than DFDS and we corrected them as quickly as possible.

Revamping sailings

It may take at least a week or two before Regina’s engine has been thoroughly checked and the cause for the breakdown found and repaired. “In the meantime we will try to mitigate the consequences for the service of our customers by moving the ships between routes so we use our capacities in best possible way until Regina can be back in service again,” says Anders Refsgaard who expects to be ready with a plan for this tomorrow at the latest.

 

The technical failure unfortunately meant that our passengers had to stay on board for a longer time than expected, and therefore, the crew offered the passengers free meals and beverages and also a hotel room if they considered it too late to continue their journey when arriving at 10 pm local time in Klaipeda. In addition to this, The German Youth Symphony Orchestra who were underway to a Lithuanian arts festival, made the additional waiting time on board a lot more pleasant by entertaining the passengers with music.  

DFDS ferry Regina Seaways suffers engine breakdown in the Baltic Sea

Update 21:25 CET: Shortly after 10 pm local time, Regina Seaways arrived safely in Klaipeda where she is being discharged and where passengers can now continue their journey.

UPDATE 16:45 CET: Regina Seaways is now sailing under its own power and is heading towards Klaipeda. Estimated time of arrival in Klaipeda is around 22:00-23:00 local time.

Approx. at 13:00, DFDS ferry Regina Seaways suffered a breakdown to the main engine en route from Kiel to Klaipeda. The breakdown caused smoke which triggered the ship’s extinguishing system in the engine room.

No passengers or crew members were injured. The ship has 294 passengers, 41 crew members as well as trucks and cars on board.

In line with the procedures, the passengers were assembled at muster stations in preparation for a possible evacuation. However, evacuation will not be necessary as the situation is under control and no heat development has been detected in the engine room.

The extent of the damage is not yet fully known, and it is not yet clear whether the ship can continue under its own power or by tugboat assistance.

Regina Seaways is a ro-pax ferry, flying the Lithuanian flag. The ship was built in 2010 and carries up to 500 passengers and has 2623 lane metres.

For further information, please contact VP Group Communications, Gert Jakobsen: +45 24400043