Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about the Protecteur
Click on the question that interests you
or just scroll down the page to see them all.
1- What problem does the Protecteur
Considering the fact that 99 % of tanker oil spills occur during
transfer operations while ships are at berth, the Protecteur
has been specifically designed to ensure that marine oil spills are rapidly and
cost-effectively confined and controlled between the ship and the dock, as well as in
between two ships.
2- What are its advantages over
- Safer method due to simple operations, done remotely from the dock,
by one operator, i.e.: no marine operations and expertise needed for boom deployment or
- Simpler, instantaneous remote deployment, confinement and control of
- Considerable savings on manpower and equipment
- More efficient shipping schedules due to:
- no pre-deployment of oil booms needed for each and every ship's loading operation;
- no standby contractor for the deployment of oil boom.
- Smaller pollution zone following the confinement of the spill in a
controlled area near the dock, which allows:
- the containment of up to 20 tons of oil;
- an easy recovery of the spill, thus reducing its
- a limitation to damages and clean-up measures to the
dock surroundings (wildlife, shoreline structures, beaches, docks, marinas, other ships,
and water intakes
) following the loss of control.
- Quicker start of oil transfer operations and departures of vessels,
due to faster and easier deployment and retrieval of the Protecteur
- Very little maintenance required, other than flushing the unit with
fresh water after use.
- Simpler, easier and shorter "Once and for all"
four (4) hours training session.
3- Is the Protecteur suited for all types
There are three (3) types of Protecteur
equipement capable of serving
most marine terminal facilities:
1) The Protecteur
300 Series (Accordion type), mostly used for
irregular steel sheetpiling dock faces.
2) The Protecteur
400 Series (Scissors type), for fullface
3) The Protecteur
500 Series (Floating Magnetic Head), for dock
facilities with cells and/or mooring dolphins. The Protecteur can be designed and installed to meet special terminal
4- How does the Protecteur
The Protecteur 300
Series (Accordion type) and the 400
Series (Scissors type) are remote-controlled, mechanically expandable, floating barriers
which are launched into the water to close the gap between the ship and the dock, and thus
trap the oil in the event of a spill, during transfer operations. The Protecteur is launched on each side of the
manifold at about 200 feet (60m) apart.
The Protecteur 500 Series
(Floating Magnetic Head) is a free-floating unit, which is hauled towards the hull of the
ship so that its magnets cling to it. Its other extremity is connected to a conventional
oil boom, which is in turn tied to a suitable cell or mooring dolphin by a floating wheel
buggy. This buggy rolls up and down along a vertical H-beam with the sea movements.
5- How is the Protecteur
The Protecteur 300,
400 and 500
Series are all launched from the dock, using appropriate portable derricks and winches.
These can be specially designed and supplied, if required. They are firstly used to carry
the Protecteur to the edge of
the dock and secondly, to set it in place between the ship and the dock. Only one
dockside operator is required and watercrafts are not needed.
6- How is the Protecteur fixed to
the dock and the ship?
One extremity of the Protecteur
300 Series (Accordion type) makes use of a
floating wheel buggy that rolls along an H-beam fixed vertically to the face of the dock;
special bars serve as the sealing mechanism. The other extremity uses magnets that cling
to the ship's hull; flexible bars are used for sealing purposes.
400 Series (Scissors type) is composed of two arms
spreading out into a V shapeand it has flexible sealing shoes at its extremities which
take on the shape of the face of the dock and that of the ship's hull. The sealing
operation is achieved by spring tension keeping the arms apart/extended (V shape) and up
against the ship and dockside. The sealing heads can be slanted from their vertical plane;
thus ensuring the seal is kept tight. Special brushes take on the shape and the roughness
of the ship's hull and the dock's face.
500 Series (Floating Magnetic Head) uses an
appropriate length of conventional oil boom, which is fixed to a free floating wheel buggy
at its other extremity. This buggy which slides up and down along an H-beam fixed
vertically to a suitable portion of the dock, also acts as a sealing component. The other
extremity, the magnetic head, is hauled towards the hull of the ship and clings to
it. Special brushes seal the joints. The magnetic head adjusts itself with the draft
of the ship being loaded or unloaded.
7- How is the Protecteur
retracted from the ship and the water?
Series (Accordion type) and the Protecteur 400 Series
(Scissors type) are simply retracted by winching up the unit with the proper
derrick. The Protecteur
closes itself, then it is ready to be lifted up to the dock.
Protecteur 500 Series (Floating Magnetic Head) uses cables to remotely release the magnets
tension and to haul it to a sheltered area for standby anchoring or retrieval purposes
with a proper derrick.
8- How is the Protecteur
protected from possible damages due to ship movements?
The unit is never set in place until the ship has berthed. The
Protecteur 300 Series (Accordion type) is often protected by the hollows of the irregular
face of the dock (steel sheet piling), and the presence of thick enough fenders or
bumpers. The Protecteur 400 Series (Scissors type) is launched between fenders with a minimum thickness
of (24 inches/65cm).
500 Series (Floating Magnetic Head) can
either be hauled to a sheltered area of the marine terminal, and held in a stand-by mode
by cables till next use, or retrieved from the water at every ship's departure.
9- What is a remote-controlled Protecteur?
A triggering mechanism is used to activate (spread out) the Protecteur 300 and 400 Series. This is done by a
single operator standing on the dock, no watercraft is required. For the Protecteur 500 Series, hauling cables are
used to move the floating head freely around the marine terminal, while a triggering cable
serves for deactivating the magnets tension over the ship's hull.
10- Are the magnets affected by
coats of paint over the hull?
Magnet tensions up to a 1000 lbs (450 kg) are available. Multiple
coats of paint will not affect their performance.
11- Has the Protecteur
Since the invention of the Protecteur,
no significant problems have been encountered. The Protecteur is currently in use at numerous major dockside oil transfer
installations in Canada, and has become an integral part of these companies' first line of
defence against oil spills. See Achievements.