Dr Victoria (Turner) Todd, Managing Director & Chief Scientist & Ian Todd, Managing Director from Ocean Science Consulting (OSC) are delighted to announce that they have appointed Pippa Nicholas from YachtProjects International as the Project Manager for their survey vessel “Thor of Valhalla”.
In 2018, OSC acquired the second-hand patrol-class vessel and the following is an account of Thors’ story (some of it – we are still investigating), from its origins in Norway to its current home UK, and adventures along the way.
In 1989, the vessel was built by a naval architect called Ola Lilloe Olsen at Brodrene Aa Eikefjord Marine AS in Norway, under order from a company called Vaaga Ambulance Service in the Lofoten islands. Originally named ‘Svein Magne’, the vessel was 22m long, equipped with two Detroit 16V92 diesel main engines, and had a top speed of 44 knots.
Svein Magne commenced life as an ambulance boat in Kabelvag, where it was said to be one of the fastest ambulance boats at that time.
In 1993, Svein Magne was bought by a company south of Bergen, which renamed the vessel to ‘Gurto Cuana Vale’, and assigned the vessel to the NORAD project in Namibia, to serve as a training vessel for the coastguard. The stern was lengthened by 2 m to increase fuel capacity.
In 1999, Gurto Cuana Vale returned to Norway, where it was renamed ‘Riko’, and was relatively inactive until 2002, when the vessel was purchased by Smit (now part of Boskalis) and returned to Eikefjord AS Marine, which added 2 m to the vessel’s midsection.
Prior to joining OSC, the vessel was stationed at Holyhead in Wales, and operated under the name “Smit Tamar” – which was subsequently shortened to “Tamar” – as a fast patrol boat, and finally for RAF, Royal Navy and coastguard training.
Thor is currently under a major refit in a shipyard in Spain. The work is extensive and it will take around a year to complete.
Thors’ future will be a multi-purpose survey vessel and workboat adapted for various uses including marine mammal and seabird surveys, environmental sampling, ROV surveys, crew transfer, guard vessel duties & dive surveys.
Victoria and Ian are excited to be working with Pippa and her extensive team to complete Thor to a high standard and in the style he deserves.