It is always interesting to find that others deal with missions you perform in a very different way.
A Marine Link report on the new ship above piqued my curiosity about the parent agency. The German Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV),
“… is responsible for ensuring a safe, smoothly flowing and thus economically efficient shipping traffic. The tasks comprise the maintenance, operation as well as the upgrading and construction of the federal waterways including the locks, weirs, bridges and shiplifts.
The responsibility of the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration extends to a total of 23,000 km² of maritime waterways and approximately 7,300 km of inland waterways. In addition, we maintain Vessel Traffic Service Centres at waterways in the coastal area and traffic control centres at inland waterways and we use special vessels for different specialist tasks (buoy laying, emergency missions, direction-finding etc.).
Around the clock, our experts on the water and ashore ensure safe traffic flows.
Our leitmotif is: “Facilitate mobility and protect the environment!”
Sounds like it has some of the Coast Guard’s missions and some Corps of Engineers missions.
The ship itself is described as multi-purpose. Presumably it tends buoys, but it is far bigger and more powerful than any USCG buoy tender, at over 90 meters (290′) in length driven by two steerable propulsion units of 4,500 KW each (over 12,000 HP total). It also has a 2,990 kW (over 4,000 HP) pumpjet. Our most similar ship seems to be USCGC Mackinaw. (240′ in length and 9,119 shp/6.8 MW).
Mackinaw is of course a domestic icebreaker, in addition to being able to tend buoys. The new German ship looks like it might also be capable of light icebreaking. (Maybe Tups who comments here frequently would be able to tell us.)
SCHOTTEL RudderPropellers type SRP 750 (each 4,500 kW at 750 rpm) on the left. SCHOTTEL PumpJet type SPJ 520 (2,990 kW) on the right. Image: SCHOTTEL
The German ship also has a gas-tight “citadel” structure with a protective air supply, in order to carry out operations in hazardous atmospheres. In the Coast Guard only the National Security Cutters have this feature.