The Danish offshore wind service vessel Esvagt Mercator is typically found at the Belgian offshore wind farms, Nobelwind and Belwind in the North Sea, where purpose-built vessel provides support for the operation of approximately one hundred wind turbines.
Last week, however, the vessel left the job to participate in an anti-terrorism drill with Belgian authorities in which it played the role of a hijacked vessel.
During the exercise, Esvagt Mercator was hijacked outside the Port of Ostend and later stormed by soldiers with the Belgian anti-terror police, who freed the hostages and neutralized the terrorists.
“It was very exciting to be part of the action. A veritable sea of hands was raised when we were asked whether we would like to be hostages,” says Rasmus Carlsen, Captain of Esvagt Mercator. Carlsen was one of four people who remained on board during the exercise, along with the chief officer, engineer, and MHI Vestas’ supervisor.
“A few people didn’t participate and there were areas of the vessel that were cordoned off, but otherwise the rest of the vessel was available for the exercise,” said Carlsen.