A North Sea emergency response and rescue vessel operator has set up a base in Great Yarmouth, as the offshore industry continues to grow.

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Vroon Offshore Services Limited is renting premises in South Denes Road and is seeking crew members for its multi-million pound fleet.

The Aberdeen-based firm operates 49 vessels, with nine of these running from Yarmouth.

Vessels serve as a lifeline for workers on remote oil rigs in the North Sea, far away from land and the nearest hospital.

Emergency response and rescue vessels (ERRVs) - equipped with speed boats, heli-spots and an on-board medical centre - wait on standby near offshore installations in case the worst should happen.

Vroon has 28 of these, and the remaining 21 are ERRV field support vessels. And managers spoke to the Mercury as the vessel VOS Tracker moored at a quay in Southtown Road to change crews.

Oddveig Bakken, crewing manager, said the firm has about 1,300 crew in total and is always looking for suitable candidates.

“It’s a constant process of recruiting,” she explained. “Especially the senior positions we are struggling with, so if we can get more interest it would be great.”

Staff will not be employed to work onshore - with the office chiefly a meeting venue - but bosses are keen that crews are local to Yarmouth.

This will reduce travel, which can add up as crews change over after about 28 days on location.

Operations operator Donald Buick explained the main areas of operation include west Shetland, northern, central and southern North Sea and the Irish Sea Basin.

With a market share of 40pc, Vroon is also the largest operator of ERRVs in the United Kingdom.

The firm has announced a £62m new build programme to construct 10 new vessels as its growth continues.

The new comfort class boats, six 50m ERRVs and four 60m ERRV field support vessels, are currently being built in Nanjing and Fujian in China under Vroon’s supervision and include a new bow design which will improve fuel efficiency and improve handling in heavy weather.

Delivery of the first vessel is expected in 2013, with the rest in 2014. The emergency service is a round the clock service for 365 days per year at location, providing safety to all those who work offshore.

Despite the challenging work environment, the vessels and crew are ready to respond to a rescue operation within minutes.

Vroon vessels also perform duties such as traffic monitoring, ensuring that other vessels stay clear from the platform.

The firm’s internal recruitment agency - Deeside Crewing Services - is currently looking to recruit experienced crew members from Yarmouth and surrounding areas.

The company promises competitive salaries and good conditions.

To apply for a job, submit your CV and cover letter to: info@deesidecrewing.com Alternatively, write to Deeside Crewing Services Ltd, Regent Centre, Regent Road, Aberdeen, AB11 5NS or visit the Facebook page; Vroon Offshore Services Aberdeen.

The company website is www.vroon.nl

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