Southampton: SMS continues operations through pandemic

Southampton-based SMS Group is playing an integral role in helping to keep Britain trading – supporting maritime infrastructure, crucial freight operators and the nation’s defence sector.

SMS has built a reputation as specialists in ship repair, marine engineering and major fabrication projects in the commercial marine, defence and superyacht sectors.  The company also operates a diving and sub-surface marine engineering business.

Nicholas Warren, commercial director of the SMS Group, said: “From our seven sites we support the likes of the Royal Navy, via Babcock and BAE Systems, UK Border Force, Trinity House and various inter-island freight operators as well as numerous ports, harbours and tug/towage operations.

“We’re a small, but important part of the country’s maritime infrastructure and, as an island nation, we must keep trading.”

He added: “We’ve just this week docked a UK Border Force vessel in Lowestoft, provisioned support to aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, and completed two emergency call-outs for two differing tug operators.

“We’ve also supported the vital inter-island ferry operators that help serve both the communities of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Wight.

“It’s key that we follow Government advice, take all precautions, keep colleagues and customers safe, and develop our own business processes, and then of course carry on.”

SMS has also established a small, focused team, to provision mobile sanitation services to key customers with ship-side and shore-side assets that are in need of either one-off sanitation pre-recommencement of service, or routine sanitation whilst in service or in refit.

Warren said: “As a business we try to put the customer at the centre of what we do; their problems are often our problems.

“Sanitation is now a challenge.  We’ve seen interest from both commercial and defence customers alike.

“Our ‘fogging’ solution allows the operatives, working in two-man teams, to safely and quickly sanitise all the spaces on vessels that have historically proven difficult to do so by conventional methods.

“We can ‘fog’ machinery spaces, voids and bilges, small cabins, stair wells and both crew and passenger spaces with ease.

“This service is offered on a one-off, or scheduled basis.  Our intent is to sanitise any given area against Covid-19, and at the same time ensure that passengers, crew and/or shipyard workers are aware of these higher standards of routine sanitisation.

“We want to reassure all stakeholders and end users.”

He added: “As the ‘lockdown’ eases we will see various marine platforms, across all our markets, with many of our key customers, being ‘reactivated’.

“You’ll also see shipyards return to work.  If we can ‘fog’ vessel/shipyard spaces as part of the ‘reactivation’, and then thereafter between crew/shift changes, overnight, or on passenger turnarounds, then we hope to help our customers maintain the highest standards of onboard and shore-side sanitation.

“We want to stay safe and help keep Britain trading.”

SMS is based at Ocean Quay, in Belvidere Road in Southampton.