The Shannah-Masirah route will be connected by two new state-of-the-art ferries by first quarter of 2014. Work on the two ferries undergoing construction in Vietnam is 70 per cent complete, the National Ferries Company (NFC) said.
Mahfoudh bin Mohamed al Haremi, a specialist ferry crew member at NFC said that as the Shannah-Masirah route is expected to be operational during the first quarter of next year, the company is enhancing the skills of its employees.
For this, NFC recently dispatched a new batch of fast ferry crew to attend a training course in Spain. “Customised training programmes have been designed to suit the training needs of the company’s staff with a view to enhance and develop their skills,” Haremi said.
He added that this was the fifth batch of trainees that includes eight employees with the prospect of further batches slated for training.
Haremi said that the goal of the training process is to enable staff to acquire the necessary knowledge, expertise, and upgrade their technical and operational capacities. The training follows the cooperation pact signed between NFC and the service provider company FRS to organise training in advanced technical and operational matters.
Haremi added that since the launch of its operations in 2008, the company has continued to build capacities of its staff with particular focus on technical personnel working on high-speed ferries.
NFC had in late 2012 signed a contract with Strategic Marine of Australia to build two ROPAX (roll on/roll off passenger) vessels to ferry passengers as well as vehicles from Shannah to Masirah Island.
The catamarans are being built at Strategic Marine's facility in Vietnam. They are 45.8m long, and will be manned by a six-member crew, and can accommodate up to 154 passengers along with 38 vehicles (saloon cars) or a combination of 28 cars and four trucks.