Getting to know the Viking before departure

In early October 2013 the crew of Maersk Viking was divided into 2 teams prior to commencing the familiarization period in Korea.

This was done after a long period of training, which started in the spring of 2013 for those starting earliest.

The new building courses consisted of various job specific courses as well as unit specific courses. The last course held was the Performance Enhancement Training in Svendborg in September 2013. This courses was special designed to enhance the team performance and was a great success.


After a few weeks’ time off after a busy training period, the management positions from the first team travelled to Korea to participate in the naming ceremony of the mighty Viking. This was a magnificent day and certainly an interesting day for all involved.

A few days later the remaining crew members arrived to Geoje Island where the Samsung Heavy Industries Yard is located. All were installed in studio apartments fully equipped with all from Internet, TV, laundry machine and facilities to cook food. After having settled in their apartment and found the nearest shopping place etc., the first 3 days were spent at a holiday resort in Jangsongpo. These 3 days were intro days were the crew received all from ship yard safety induction to more company specific training.

On the 4th day the familiarization began more intensively on board Maersk Viking at the yard docks. The focus in the beginning was to familiarize the crew with all the safety systems on board the rig. After that the individual crew members continued to follow the familiarization plans laid down for their specific job position. The familiarization, ‘on the job training’ varies from position to position and is developed to be job specific.

Sea trials

At the end of October the Viking was scheduled to go to sea for the first time on sea trials, where all marine systems, propulsion system, electrical systems, etc. are to be tested. As a lot of people from both Maersk Drilling, vendors and Samsung were to be on for the sea trials not all crew could go on for that. Only essential crew for the sea trails joined and the Viking went on sea trails with a crew of 273 persons in the Korea Strait between Japan and Korea. The remaining crew not joining the sea trails stayed at the yard and could continue the familiarization process with computer based training in our training containers on the quay side.

The sea trails went very smooth and the Viking proved very agile and highly maneuverable. One of the tests that really impressed us all was the blackout recovery test. During this test the Viking regained power on her engines and generators after only 8 seconds and thrusters could go back on line to the DP system after 35 seconds. A truly magnificent and impressive vessel.

After the sea trails it was time to round off the first familiarization period in Korea. The program had proven very effective and beneficial to the crew. This was also the aim as the familiarization periods have been cut down as opposed to earlier new building programs where the yard periods traditionally have been longer.

The first crew travelled back home in the first week of November where after the second team arrived one week later to repeat the same process. This hitch also went very well in Korea and the cooperation between all stakeholders like crew, ORT, Site Team and Rig Team was excellent throughout the process.

SIT testing – getting close to a real operation

The SIT is the test where all the drilling equipment is tested in a test as close to a real operation. This is to try and simulate a real drilling operation and to see if all the various systems can work together and work in an integrated operation. I.e. drill string is rotated with both weight and as much torques as can be obtained in a test situation. Simultaneously is the mud circulation system tested and the riser and BOP is run in a test to make sure also these systems are working.

For the SIT the majority of the drill crew and some leadership, Marine and Technical position joined the Viking for assisting with preparations for the SIT and also for operation of the equipment during the test.

The rest of the crew arrived after New Year to help preparing the Viking for the voyage towards the US Gulf of Mexico. So as opposed to the first familiarization trip in Korea where the crew familiarized themselves with the Viking, this next trip was more operational preparing the Viking for the voyage.

After ending the SIT the Viking returned back to the Samsung Ship Yard to rectify the things identified during the SIT. Simultaneously with Samsung rectifying the last things, the crew prepared for departure.


Also the galley, often referred to as the heart of the operation, had to become operational before the crew could move on board the vessel. All pantry and galley stores had to be unpacked before our catering staff could move in. After that was done a total of 6 40 foot containers with dry, refrigerated and frozen provision were loading into the galley provision.

Also a total of 5400 cubic meters of low sulphur diesel was bunkered prior to departing from Korea.

Stay tuned!

Christian S. Johnsen

OIM Maersk Viking

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