On 4th November 2015, a 20 metre converted wooden trawler foundered on her mooring at Medham, opposite Cowes Harbour Commission’s Kingston Wharf site on the River Medina.
Having been involved in the initial multi-agency response with the RNLI and Coastguard to establish the boat owner’s safety and mitigate potential pollution risks, Cowes Harbour Commission then took on the planning of the salvage in consultation with the vessel’s owner. The vessel was boomed and absorbents were successfully used to recover a small amount of diesel that had seeped from the vessel.
A familiar team of Kingston Marine Services
, MMC Divers, and Seaflex (the Cowes-based supplier of floatation bags to the diving and offshore industries) was convened and plans made to raise the vessel at the next suitable set of tides. Challenging conditions and zero underwater visibility on site meant that the complex operation to float the vessel took place over two days.
The Kingston Marine Services (KMS) 16m Multicat Seaclear
was used to manage the bulky lifting equipment and compressor for the divers. Once the vessel had been successfully refloated it was towed to a drying berth at Kingston Wharf by KMS’s Seamark
, assisted by harbour patrol RIB HM1
As a footnote to this story, we would like to advise all Cowes Harbour mooring holders to check that their boat insurance is current and includes wreck removal insurance cover, since not only is it a requirement of the harbour mooring holder’s license, but if your boat is uninsured, a salvage operation similar to the one described above could set you back in the region of £10,000 or more!