While our primary function is to carry out our statutory duties providing Aids to Navigation for the safety of the mariner, the Merchant Shipping and Maritime Security Act 1997, allows us to use any spare capacity in the statutory programme to offer marine support services. As the most experienced provider of AtoN services in Scottish and Manx waters, find out how we could support you.
Our base at Oban offers a wide range of engineering and ship support services. For more information and to see our Terms and Conditions click on the Marine Base Support tab below.
Buoy services is one of our core functions. We maintain the buoys to a very high standard and the expected lifespan of an NLB steel buoy body is in excess of 50 years. Buoys are maintained by our two ships and periodically they are taken to our Oban base for a full overhaul and in-depth maintenance.
We can offer this same quality of service to clients in their navigational marking requirements and can provide:
Buoy Rental and Maintenance Service
We can provide buoys for rental in support of Local Light Authorities (LLAs), offshore renewable energy sites, utility companies, ferry routes, etc. Rental will incorporate a full maintenance plan to ensure compliance to IALA standards.
For clients who own their own buoys, we offer a full, on location buoy maintenance programme to maintain safe navigation. The facilities at NLB Oban can also be used to give an intensive overhaul if required.
We are experts at deploying and recovering buoys safely and without structural damage. Our ships are purpose built and designed to deploy buoys and their associated moorings, whether they be for well-head marking, meteorological and environmental data collection, guarding wave-riders or marking outfalls and other man-made hazards. The deepest buoy deployment to date was in a water depth of 2000 metres.
To support the requirement for navigational markings on offshore structures, we have developed a range of solutions to assist in ensuring full compliance with current legislation:
- Marking of offshore structures undergoing decommissioning
- Temporary marking of offshore structures during installation
- Marking of offshore structures post decommissioning
- Maintenance and deployment of offshore marker buoys
- Monitoring of Aids to Navigation
We offer both short and long-term solutions to fit with clients’ decommissioning programmes. This allows cost-effective solutions for use during the decommissioning process and for the permanent marking of any remaining structure in perpetuity.
The Interim AtoN is a self-contained, solar-powered Aid to Navigation incorporating a 10nm lantern and optional Racon and GPS synchronisation. It is designed for use on platforms during the topside removal phase and can be relocated as the project develops to give continuous conspicuity in latitudes to 61 deg North. The Interim AtoN can also be used during the development of a field. For example, to mark a caisson tower until a jack-up unit is installed for operations.
The Rigwatcher AtoN was developed to fulfil the need for the long-term marking of decommissioned offshore structures left in place, such as concrete gravity base platforms. Rigwatcher is a self-contained, solar-powered AtoN designed to be monitored remotely and exchanged for maintenance by helicopter remote lifting. Where more than one unit is deployed on the remaining structures in a decommissioned field, GPS synchronisation will provide clear conspicuity. Continuous remote monitoring via satellite is achieved from our Monitor Centre in Edinburgh.
Offshore Marker Buoys
Offshore Marker Buoys are deployed to mark well-heads and other subsea assets. Our skills in buoy handling ensures the safe and cost effective deployment, recovery and maintenance of buoys.