Utrecht, 18 December 2018 – Castor Marine, a leading supplier of innovative maritime IT and communication solutions, is pleased to announce its new partnership with Seatec NV, a Belgian based nautical research and expedition company founded by Captain Pim de Rhoodes. 

Commandant (Cdt.) Fourcault, a 58-meter long vessel belonging to Seatec, was originally built as a pilot vessel. After serving as such for several years, she was bought by the Belgian Navy to be used as training vessel. After being laid up in the port of Antwerp for almost eight years, the ship was brought back into service in 2000 under the management of Captain de Rhoodes. Since then, the vessel has embarked on a number of significant search & rescue, salvage, and dive expeditions.

In December last year, Cdt. Fourcault experienced a devastating fire whilst berthed in the Port of Antwerp. The fire, which was probably caused by the explosion of an overheated battery charger, spread through the vessel’s storage space and a cabin containing the crew’s high-tech diving equipment. Fortunately, nobody got hurt and the fire department was able to prevent the fire from spreading. Within a few months the damage was repaired and Captain Pim de Rhoodes, a charismatic Dutch entrepreneur and the proud owner of Cdt. Fourcault, could make up for lost time by setting sail with his crew. 

Just before heading out on its latest expedition to the Canary Islands, Seatec partnered with Castor Marine in order to further optimize operations and safety on board. “The nature of our work at sea requires fast and reliable connectivity at all times,” says Captain Pim de Rhoodes. He explains that Castor Marine equipped Cdt. Fourcault with state-of-the-art VSAT services in just three days. Captain de Rhoodes adds: “The turnaround time at port is usually short. We therefore wanted to partner with a company that offers flexible services and could equip the vessel at short notice”.

When asked what the future holds for Cdt. Fourcault, Captain Pim de Rhoodes is keen to tell us about his next voyage: a thrilling expedition in search of 1,000 bottles of champagne that have been lying on the seabed for over 200 years. “Now that’s what you call vintage,” he says with a disarming smile. Aside from searching for lost treasures, the vessel has been involved in a host of activities, ranging from diving missions; to salvage expeditions such as the one for the Costa Concordia, the unfortunate cruise ship that capsized and sank in 2012 near the island of Giglio; and expeditions to create awareness for environmental issues. “We can host up to 50 people on board for up to 45 days at the time; bringing researchers, dive enthusiasts and wildlife conservationists all over the world,” says Captain de Rhoodes. He adds: “These trips require highly specialized knowledge and great flexibility from our crew and our suppliers, which is one of the reasons we chose to partner with Castor Marine.”

Castor Marine is excited about exploring the potential of this new partnership with Seatec and looks forward to providing ongoing communication services during Cdt. Fourcault’s many journeys ahead.