Tristan da Cunha Regular Ships: MFV Geo Searcher
The MFV Geo-Searcher is a former scientific research vessel converted to replace MV Edinburgh as Tristan's main fishing vessel.

MFV Geo Searcher

New fishing vessel MV Geo Searcher acquired by Ovenstone

Due to enter service in March 2017

Report and photo from Dorrien Venn

Ovenstones have announced the acquisition of the MV Geo-Searcher, and the withdrawal from service of MV Baltic Trader.

MV Geo-Searcher was built in 1982 and refurbished in 2005 & 2014. It is 1863 gross tonnes, 69m in length and has served as a scientific research vessel. The vessel is being converted to a factory freezer vessel with cargo and passenger capacity and will replace MV Edinburgh as the island’s main fishing vessel. MV Edinburgh will be retained by the company, to be used on dedicated cargo trips and for limited fishing.

The MV Geo Searcher is in the final stages of refit in a yard in Poland. Her estimated time of arrival in Cape Town is now likely to be mid December. Installation of the lobster tank facility will be carried out in Cape Town, which means the Edinburgh will be deployed for the scheduled fishing trip in January 2017, with expected timing of the Geo Searchers inaugural  voyage being 18 March 2017 - in place of the Edinburgh.

Chief Islander visits new fishing vessel Geo-Searcher in Poland

Report and photos from Chris Carnegy of a visit to the MV Geo Searcher as she was refitted as a fishing vessel in a yard in Poland in November 2016
Geo-Searcher Foredeck, with Gdansk crane in background

On November 10th and 11th, Chief Islander Ian Lavarello and Tristan Government UK Representative Chris Carnegy visited Geo Searcher as she underwent the last of the conversion work being carried out in Gdansk, Poland. A few days later the ship was due to depart for Cape Town where more work will be completed before she starts service for Tristan in March.

Ovenstone chose the vessel for its build quality, sea keeping and the facilities for passengers, including all-en suite bathrooms and a dedicated hospital cabin. The cargo hold can take pallets and many other items, and will have its own fork-lift truck, while two twenty-foot containers can be carried on deck. Any cargo not carried on the Geo Searcher will be conveyed on alternate vessels.

The lobster processing facility has had major investment, with modern conveyer systems and innovative designs aimed at maximising both efficiency and quality.

Ian declared himself very impressed with the vessel, noting the spaciousness and comfort of the cabins and the level access to the 'air taxi' deck. He will see Geo Searcher again when she arrives in Cape Town.

Hi-tech fishing station in the starboard bridge extension Ian on the bridge
Typical cabin
One of the passengers' day rooms Crew mess
Ian and Chris trying out the new crane! Foredeck, with Ovenstone's Managing Director
Andrew James alongside Ian Lavarello
The overhead conveyer for lobster traps Crane view
More views from the crane

Above left: Lobster sorting area

Above: Geo-Searcher's Stern

Left: On deck

We look forward to adding photos of Geo-Searcher in Cape Town, and during the first voyage to Tristan.

Geo-Searcher arrives at Tristan for the first time

Geo-Searcher arrives at Tristan on its maiden voyage
Report and photos from Tristan Administrator Sean Burns

Geo-Searcher off Tristan on 15th April

The MV Geo-Searcher arrived late afternoon on Good Friday 14th April 2017 but the harbour was not operational because of poor weather. Things had improved by Saturday 15th April so Chief Islander Ian Lavarello, Head of Fisheries James Glass and I joined the raft and went out to greet Andrew James, Captain Clarence and all on the vessel.

We were given a full tour including the factory, the main hold, bridge, engine room and the passenger accommodation, which is en suite and includes spacious day rooms and dining areas. We were all impressed.

I welcomed the team here and acknowledged the hard work that had gone in to the whole operation. Ian then presented Clarence with a Tristan flag and I presented Andrew with a Tristan plaque.

Party assembled on the Geo-Searcher's Bridge on 15th April
From the right: - Administrator Sean Burns, Captain Clarence October, James Glass, Ovenstones Managing Director Andrew James, Chief Islander Ian Lavarello, Erik MacKenzie and two others.

We then came ashore with passengers Michelle Green and Adrian Swain plus an injured crew member. She also took on Rodney Green and Warren Glass as fishing observers and Erik MacKenzie also joined the vessel. She is now heading to fish at Inaccessible.

The ship returned on Monday 17th April Ovenstones Managing Director Andrew James came ashore for meeetings on Tuesday 18th April with the Island Council, fishermen, processors and his own team. She will the head for Gough for further fishing trials. Ian, Marina and I will join the trip and get ashore to see the Gough team.

Geo Searcher seen from Calshot Harbour on 15th April

Geo Searcher makes maiden voyage to Gough Island

Administrator Sean Burns and Chief Islander Ian Lavarello visit Gough Island
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MFV Geo Searcher's November - January Fishing Trip

Ovenstone's fishing vessel returns to the Tristan da Cunha Islands for an extended lobster fishing trip.
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Geo Searcher Fishing Voyage Update

MFV Geo Searcher's first fishing trip of the 2017/2018 season
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MFV Geo Searcher's February-March Voyage to Tristan

Geo Searcher departs Tristan on 16th March 2018
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Geo Searcher's early-season fishing voyage

MV Geo Searcher departs Tristan for return to Cape Town
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Geo Searcher's 2018-2019 Fishing Voyage

Return to Cape Town, departing Tristan 11th January 2019.
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