Service Operation Vessel (SOV) Esvagt Mercator took a breather from its usual activities on the Belgian offshore wind farms Belwind and Nobelwind to participate in an anti-terror exercise.
During the exercise, the Esvagt Mercator was hijacked outside the port of Ostend, after which units from the anti-terror corps boarded the vessel, freed the ‘hostages’ and neutralised the ‘terrorists’.
The exercise also included two warships, two helicopters, and a number of fast rescue boats and transfer boats which carried 16 armed and trained soldiers from the Belgian anti-terror corps and police, Esvagt said.
“It was very exciting to be part of the action. A veritable sea of hands was raised when we were asked whether we would like to be hostages,” said Rasmus Carlsen, the captain on the Esvagt Mercator.
He, together with his chief officer, engineer, and MHI Vestas’ supervisor, were the only four on board who were not part of the exercise.
“A few people didn’t participate and there were areas of the vessel that were cordoned off, but otherwise the rest of the vessel was available for the exercise,” Carlsen said.
The Esvagt Mercator started its 10-year charter with MHI Vestas in December 2017.