UPDATE: The 4ocean Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel

by 4ocean Team August 26, 2019

UPDATE: The 4ocean Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel

 

Back in November of 2018, we were so excited about the launch of the 4ocean Ocean Plastic Recovery Vessel and totally fired up to start cleaning up massive amounts of plastic pollution from river mouths and the ocean. But, we learned after a short period of time that it had to go back to the shipyard to make some modifications that would allow us to deploy our ocean cleaning systems more quickly, efficiently, and safely. 

So, we steered a course for Golden Meadow, Louisiana where these necessary upgrades have been taking place and we are getting very close to getting back out on the water to get our clean on! Now it's just the finishing details to button up and she will be ready to set sail again...

Originally, our plastic collecting boom and reel was mounted to what is called a jump platform that stood about four feet off the deck. Attached in this way, this system kept the boom high enough to clear the bulwarks at the back of the boat. But we realized that if we cut the bulwarks down and mounted the boom reel directly to the deck, it would allow for much more freedom of movement when deploying and retrieving the system.

 

4ocean OPR Vessel Boom SystemPhoto: Original boom system mounted on a jump platform

 

4ocean OPR Vessel Boom SystemPhoto: New boom system mounted to deck with cutdown bulwark at the stern

 

The next modification we needed to address was pulling power. So we attached a capstans winch to the deck that will allow us to pull up to 35,000 pounds at a time! This gives us the capability to launch multiple booms that are attached to one another to cover large distances across river mouths or open ocean. Each one of our boom systems is 20 ft. long and weighs about 420 lbs. The reason that's important is because some river mouths may need five booms and some may need fifty. We need to be able to haul all that gear with ease. Without this piece of equipment, it would be impossible to move these booms around with just manpower.

 

4ocean Capstans Winch Mounted to the DeckPhoto: Capstans winch attached to the deck of the OPR Vessel

 

Along those same lines, with the large amount of plastic and trash the booms will be collecting, we had to install another davit that has a 2,000 lb. capacity to haul the super sacks from the cleanup boats that will be servicing the boom system daily. It will also allow us to move these super sacks around on the deck to position them in the most efficient way until they are able to be offloaded at port. We also added two 650 lb. anchors to keep the vessel in a stationary position as needed when pulling booms or spending the night in a protected harbor. 

We added a stair system from the main deck to the second deck instead of the ladder system that was there originally. This will allow the crew to quickly access our new safety boat which is lowered to the water by a powered davit in case of an emergency like a man overboard. 

 

4ocean Emergency Launch Boat with Power Davit and New StairsPhoto: New Emergency Launch Boat with power davit for launching quickly

 

In order to navigate the OPR Vessel in unfamiliar, international waters where dangers could be lurking around every turn and at every depth, we needed to upgrade the electronics in the wheelhouse to keep the ship and the crew safe at all times as well as to stay on course in any weather. With two radar systems, VHF radio, a GPS navigation system, autopilot, international chart plotting, and automatic identification system to track the transponders of other ships in the area, the OPR is ready to go to wherever we need it to go, anywhere in the world. 

 

4ocean OPR Vessel ElectronicsPhoto: Some of the new electronics used for communication and navigation

 

Make sure to check out this OPR video update to see for yourself all of the upgrades that will make our job of cleaning the ocean much easier and effective. 

We also wanted to shout out a big THANK YOU to all our customers who have continued to support us through these fluid times with the OPR Vessel. We are working with technology that has never been implemented in this way before and being the first to do things like this, we understand that we might not get it right the first time every, every time. And we can't say enough how much we appreciate you coming along for the journey. 

By continuing to purchase our 4ocean Bracelets and Products, you are helping to perfect these technologies and systems so that together we can create massive change for the ocean environment by cleaning up plastic pollution at the source.

 

 Photo: OPR Vessel in Golden Meadow, Louisiana getting its needed modifications

 

Are you excited to see the OPR Vessel re-launch? Where do you think its first destination will be? Let us know in the comments below.

Make sure to follow us on YouTubeFacebook, Instagram, and Twitter to stay up to date on all things 4ocean! Also, head on over to our Discover 4ocean Facebook Group to get in on the conversation around ocean plastic pollution and other important ocean conservation topics.

 

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