First commercial crossing of the north sea by autonomous vessel

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 A 12-meter (40-foot) autonomous vessel has sailed across the North Sea with a token cargo of oysters – making it the first commercial crossing by an autonomous vessel.

The vessel, designed and built in Essex, U.K., docked in the Belgian port city of Oostende last week following a successful transit from West Mersea. The voyage lasted 22 hours.

The box of oysters weighed around 5 kg – just a fraction of the current model’s maximum payload of up to 2.5 tons.

The SEA-KIT vessel USV Maxlimer is operated by SEA-KIT International Ltd, and is designed and developed by Hushcraft Ltd, based in Tollesbury, Essex. The vessel can be transported in a single 40-foot container.

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