Today, HULL SK 97, to be named PORTLAND SENTINEL Launching ceremony commenced at the auspicious time of 1058 hrs, with firing of crackers and bursting of fireworks. But it was not a launch in the usual sense. The vessel was slowing pulled aft by two winches on the launch barge, supported by a series of 12 hydraulic balloons. These balloons were also used to control the direction of the vessel’s movement from shipyard to barge.
Following are some pictures taken this morning and early afternoon.
Position of PORTLAND SENTINEL this morning, before launching sequence commenced.
Winch standing by at bow, as a safety measure.
Examples of hydraulic balloons supporting the vessel’s hull.
Adjustment of air pressure in balloons.
Having a game of tug-o-war with a balloon
A pair of lines aft of the vessel, leading to two winches on the launch barge.
Another view of the aft pulling lines
launch barge, in preparation to receive PORTLAND SENTINEL.
hrs, vessel moved after about 10-20 metres, and stern angled to stbd. This is
part of the launch sequence because the launch barge is berthed slightly off
centre from slipway.
Sentinel’s site team at Dalian: Tibi and Li.
Sun setting. Estimate vessel will reach launch barge early tomorrow morning.
on launch barge. Floodlights being rigged up for tonight’s operation.