Turnips, carrots and potatoes

Given the remote location, far from civilisation, the entire fleet had to be completely self-reliant. All auxiliary tools and spare parts were divided over the vessels and transferred from one vessel to another whenever needed.

In 2016, Sabetta already had an airport but still no roads or hotels. Accordingly, all employees of Jan De Nul Group had to sleep and eat on board. No hotels also implies that there is no onshore office for staff so as to monitor all works. Everything had to be done on board. The crew of the vessels was limited to an absolute minimum.

Kleo: “The atmosphere among the crew was excellent. Everyone was happy to be part of this unique project.” People who work hard have a big appetite as well.

Dennis Veeckman: “We had an agreement with a department store in Belgium. The freezers of all vessels passing through Belgium on their way to Sabetta would be stuffed with food. Wherever possible, vessels took on one or two extra freezer containers on board. Also in Murmansk, we took as much food as possible on board. This was enough for the first six to eight weeks. Afterwards, we worked with local suppliers and depended on what they could deliver. We must admit: the crew working in the final weeks of the project had to eat some more potatoes, turnips and carrots than they’re used to. Initially, we also had fresh fruit for instance. Towards the end, people had to do with canned fruit.”

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