Marine Safety Queensland “QG Norfolk” – Hydrographic Survey Vessel

Norfolk was built in the 90’s in our yard and has spent many years motoring up and down the east coast of Queensland undertaking the super important Hydrographic surveys that keep our navigators safe. She was recently back in the yard for her annual maintenance program so we felt it timely to offer a bit about her background.

Hydrographic surveys play a critical role in ensuring the safety of commercial and recreational navigators by providing an accurate picture of what lies beneath our oceans, rivers, ports and bays. The surveys outline any subtle changes or differences so that MSQ can ensure accurate delivery of their infrastructure and maintenance programs, of which “QG Norfolk” plays a very important role. Here’s a little about her background from Bill Wright.

Norfolk was built by Norman R. Wright & Sons in 1999 for the Department of Transport – Marine Survey Division. She is fitted with state of the art side scanning sonar systems allowing the Hydrographer on board to produce high quality digital charts of the surveyed areas.

Norfolk travels the full length of the Queensland coastline right round to Weipa in the Gulf of Carpentaria surveying ports. This allows the ships to maximise their loads in and out of the ports as they have an accurate indication of the depths and ocean floor they are navigating. She is constantly at sea undertaking this critical role except for when she has her annual maintenance program at our Brisbane yard.

Five years ago she underwent a “half-life” refit as her MTU engines had completed 24,000 hours of operation and were replaced with new MTU Series 60 engines. She also had her navigation gear, generators and survey equipment all replaced and is now ready to continue her important role for another 18 years.


Bill Wright

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