Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) can report that the intricate operation to salvage the burnt and sunken 70 foot, 114 ton superyacht Kahu from the riverbed in East Cowes Marina, Isle of Wight, has been completed successfully after a great team effort.
The technical and logistical challenges of safely salvaging the Kahu were considerable, necessitating a 24/7 operation from the time of the fire being first reported. With highly sensitive environmental areas of mudflats and saltmarsh upstream from the scene on the River Medina, and 8,000 litres of diesel onboard the Kahu, the concern was to prevent significant pollution to the area and this has been achieved.
Andrew Healy, Counter Pollution and Salvage Officer at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said: “This was a model multi-agency response to a complex pollution incident. There was very minimal impact on the local environment as a result of this incident.”
Chair of the Solent Environment Group, Mike O’Neill said: "Thanks to the efforts of Cowes Harbour Commission team and the other responders the impact on the environment was kept to an absolute minimum. The Solent Environment Group was able to provide advice on how sensitive the River Medina is to help plan the salvage of the vessel.”
Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh said: “It’s reassuring to know that within the Cowes and Solent region the expertise exists to handle an incident of this magnitude. The professionalism shown by the salvage team was exemplary together with the efforts from my own team here at the Harbour Commission. All the players went the extra mile to achieve an excellent result.”
A large floating crane barge has completed the slow and controlled lift of the Kahu yacht onto a bunded flat top barge at East Cowes Marina. Contractors are today finalising the securing of the yacht on the flat top barge by constructing and welding a cradle and supports. The bund will be removed prior to transportation to Camber Dock, Portsmouth. Due to the current and predicted weather conditions it is proposed to depart Cowes on Saturday morning, when the conditions are looking favourable.