Oyster Marine Holdings, the group’s master company, is en-route to enter administration later today or early tomorrow. David Tydeman, Oyster Group CEO, confirmed this to IBI today and said: “The name of the administrator will be announced very soon. I am not able to give the name of the administrator yet.

“At present it is only the holding company that is entering administration,” he added. “Oyster Marine, Oyster Brokerage and Oyster Palma are still operating. I wish to make it very clear that Oyster Palma is still active because the management team are very concerned that they are receiving reports that they are in administration.”

Tydeman indicated that it is likely the UK companies will follow and in total about 330 people in the UK and US have been laid off. “We are operating with a skeleton team of about half a dozen here but we have at least a dozen volunteers who we have had to pay off but have come in to help.

“There is a huge loyalty out there and many Oyster owners have been ringing up to offer help and support,” Tydeman told IBI. “There are many wealthy Oyster owners who are giving such offers and some of these made a bid on the company in 2012 when HTP Investments bought control.”

He pointed out that a rush of orders in the second half of 2017 had resulted in the record order book of £83m with work stretching to 2019 and 2010. “We had some gaps in the order book we were looking to fill such as for the 835 and 895 plus the considerable interest generated by the 745 at boot Dusseldorf. We also have a couple of parties interested in the third Oyster 118.” The first two Oyster 118s were in build with deliveries set for 2019 and 2020.

HTP Investments, the Dutch company that bought Oyster in 2012, is understood to have withdrawn its support for the company in late January, leaving the Oyster management team only a few days to undertake a rescue.

Tydeman was unable to say how much money would have been needed to save the group and keep it operating. “I am under instruction not to give out that figure,” he commented.

Oyster was due to exhibit at the Miami show in about 10 days' time. “We were going to show the 625 but that won’t happen now,” Tydeman told IBI.