2024-02-07

A day with Captain of Lifting Operations William

The Brabo lifting gantry is one of the most distinctive vessels in the Antwerp port area. Companies hire the Port of Antwerp-Bruges' floating crane for heavy lifting tasks up to 800 metric tonnes. Captain of Lifting Operations William talks about what it's like to work with this giant.

How to do a lifting task?

Teamwork

"At the start of our shift, the whole team gathers on the lifting gantry. We briefly go over today's assignment: placing a locking caisson at Berendrecht Lock. This is a partition between the lock chamber and the door chamber to dry a lock gate. Our team today consists of five sailors, two ship's engineers, Brabo's captain and I. We already attached the correct lifting equipment to the crane yesterday, so we can leave right away. The ship's engineers start the engines in the engine room and the sailors cast off the mooring lines. In just under half an hour, Brabo's captain Christiaan sails up to Berendrecht Lock.

Hijsbok Brabo voert een hijstaak uit.

Power house

 

“The caisson is ready on the quay at the Berendrecht Lock. We go over the lifting task and the action plan again with the customer. One of the sailors goes ashore and provides a second pair of eyes for Brabo's captain Christiaan and me. We are in close contact with each other throughout the entire assignment. Christiaan maneuvers the Brabo pontoon against the quay and I lower the lifting blocks so that riggers can attach the lifting cables to the caisson. That requires a lot of strength, because the lifting cables are extremely thick steel cables. You could call them Brabo's 'arms', with which he lifts and moves everything.”

Careful!

 "There are many factors that affect the lifting task: weather, currents, wind, visibility, safety, and so on. You always need to be alert and careful so that nothing goes wrong. That means good communication and cooperation with all colleagues is very important, because you depend on each other. You also have to be flexible, because every assignment is different and you never quite know what to expect."

 

"After completing this task, we sail back to our moorings in the heart of the port. We take the lifting cables off again and replace them with other cables better suited for the next lifting task. That sounds very simple, but it takes another two hours. The cables are so heavy that we need a crane and a forklift to move them."

Bokkebaas William bestuurt de hijslieren van de Brabo.

Stay informed

Would you like to be automatically informed about all the goings on in our port? Then subscribe to one or more of our newsletters. You will then receive the latest news and events in your mailbox.

Receive news from the port
Would you like to be automatically informed about all the goings on in our port? Then subscribe to one or more of our newsletters. You will then receive the latest news and events in your mailbox.

You might also find this interesting