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Special Projects undertaken by Cowes Harbour Services

Special Projects

Our Cowes Harbour Services team has a wide range of equipment and resources at their disposal, and with the experience of many years spent on the water, we are often called upon to deal with the jobs that no one else can.

The Multi-Cat barge Seaclear is our main works vessel for the ordinary and extraordinary, and with a 30 tm crane with 12m reach and a 26 tonne deck cargo capacity she makes the perfect platform and base for everything from divers’ equipment to 300 metres of ship’s anchor chain.

Seaclear can also be loaded with a man-up cage, pressure washer and compressor, welding equipment and oxy-acetylene burning gear, and she is available anywhere in the Solent at short notice.

As a back up, and very much useful in her own right, certified for 2 tonnes of deck cargo and 12 passengers we have Seamark, harbour launch and tug, an 8m Cheverton launch and of course, access to the Cowes Harbour Services launches and RIBS.

Seaclear carrying out towage project

Also in the tool box are the full boatyard facilities at the Cowes Harbour Services Boatyard, with hoist capacity up to 40 tonnes, cranage and yard facilities.

Most of all though, for special projects, Cowes Harbour Services relies on the afloat team who between them have something over 50 years’ experience on the River Medina and the Solent and they are able to tackle whatever comes through the door, however ‘extra ordinary’.

With the construction of the Cowes Breakwater, Seaclear was called upon to deliver both stores and personnel to the breakwater and is seen below landing survey personnel on the completed, rock armoured structure. 

Seaclear landing survey personnel on the breakwater
Seaclear landing survey personnel on the breakwater

Emergency response is unfortunately another regular call out that we receive. We are the local Tier 1 oil spill responders with all the required equipment at our Kingston Wharf base and when called upon, usually get involved in any salvage operation that follows a vessel sinking. We are often partnered with a local dive company (often MMC Divers) and in recent times have been involved with the salvage of a local Committee Boat vessel, and the recovery and subsequent break up of an MFV used as a houseboat on the Medina. (See photos below)

Recovery of an MFV used as a houseboat on the River MedinaBreak-up of a salvaged boat at Kingston

Sunken committee boat vesselRecovery of committee boat vessel

We were involved in the remediation of Trinity Landing after recent collision damage, and the recovery of equipment after emergency drills on the new Red Jet 6, which was constructed locally by Shemara Refit (now Wight Shipyard Co Ltd). (See photos below)

Remediation of Trinity Landing after collision damage
Remediation of Trinity Landing after collision damage

Red Jet 6 emergency drills with CHC RIB in the backgroundEquipment recovery after Red Jet 6 drills

When pub retailer Green King needed the pontoons at the Folly Inn refurbished, we undertook three weeks of works, re-decking the pontoon as a whole, as well repairing and replacing all the pontoon joints and bridge landing pins. (See photos below)

Folly Inn pontoon worksRepaired Folly Inn pontoons

Finally, when your ship is forced to dump £10,000 worth of anchor in the Solent and hasn’t been able to mark it, who will go and find it? Seaclear will, with a grapnel and a search pattern! Luckily, the ship had been bound for our own commercial wharf at Kingston and we were therefore able to deliver the ground tackle back directly to the ship on our successful return to base. (See photos below)

Search for ship anchorShip anchor found!

Top photo: Seamark being used as a working platform during the assembly stage of a jack-up barge for Structural Soils Ltd who will carry out investigation boreholes at the proposed Homes and Communities Agency led Kingston Marine Park development on the River Medina. 

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