On the water again

The West Australian

Wellard ship MV Ocean Drover is set to make its first voyage since being ravaged by fire last year.

The vessel sustained about $10 million in damage while docked in Fremantle in October and has spent the past five months being repaired in Singapore.

The repairs included a refurbishment of the bridge and accommodation areas. Wellard also upgraded the vessel's navigation and other shipboard systems, and performed scheduled maintenance.

MV Ocean Drover captain Mate Betica said the refitted vessel was much easier to navigate.

"All the ship's instruments are integrated and can either work together or independently," he said.

Systems upgrades include the latest communications and navigation technology, as well as the most modern fire detection and fighting systems which reflects Wellard's philosophy to place the highest priority on human safety and animal welfare standards.

All repairs and modifications to the Ocean Drover have been approved by class surveyors, who have certified the vessel to resume normal operations

The vessel was loaded with fodder in Fremantle earlier this week, after which it was expected to head to Townsville and Darwin to be loaded with cattle for Indonesia.

With a capacity of about 70,000 head, it is the world's largest purpose-built livestock carrier.

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