27 November 2019

Members of Shoreham Port’s Marine team have been carrying out vital seabed levelling works in Portsmouth and Newhaven this month. Bed levelling is one of the many services the Port offer, alongside Diving, Crew changing, and operational services.

Seabed levelling is a modern-day technique used in ports and harbours by which a plough is towed behind a tugboat along the seabed to level high spots and ridges, moving the material to nearby low spots. Fitted with teeth to cut into the seabed material, the plough is very efficient in moving materials such as clay, sand, silt and gravel over short distances. This work is essential to maintain the levels of areas such as entrances and turning basins and to ensure that berths are kept at their chartered depths.

Acamar, the Port’s newest tug boat, arrived at the Port in September of last year and is fitted with a seven-tonne winch for plough-dredging. It is complete with onboard survey equipment to monitor the progress and survey the finished product if requested. The Port’s other tug boat, Adurni, is also fitted with the same capabilities, providing excellent dredging services since the early 1990s.

The plough has proven itself as an efficient dredging tool in recent weeks, with Tug Master Alex Davey and Marine Operations Assistant Alex Pearson carrying out bed-levelling works in Newhaven for approximately five days to reprofile the Port’s turning basin, as well as a visit farther afield in Portsmouth Port for around two days to carry out further works. The Marine team will also return to Newhaven to carry out further levelling later this week.

Marine Operations Assistant Alex joined the Port earlier this summer following several years in the Royal Navy. She commented “I have gained a lot of experience during our recent trips to Portsmouth and Newhaven this month, having had the opportunity to develop my skills where bed-levelling is concerned, as well as other opportunities to learn, such as buoyage and light sequences. Getting out to do some levelling is an all-round experience for living and working on board.”

Alex continued “Whilst in Newhaven, we experienced dramatic changes throughout the tide and worked during the night, which brought many challenges that I certainly enjoyed. On the other hand, we weren’t as affected by tides in Portsmouth and we worked predominantly during daylight. It was also the deepest we have worked whilst levelling and therefore proved a completely different but equally as useful experience.

Alex also said “I only left the Royal Navy in Portsmouth in February, so it was interesting to return in a completely different context! Both Ports were extremely happy with what we did and there is no better feeling than knowing we did a good job on behalf of Shoreham Port.”

More information about Shoreham Port’s bed levelling services, please click here. Alternatively, call +44 (0)1273 598100 or email jgray@shoreham-port.co.uk. To see more exciting behind-the-scenes Port videos follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn. Or sign up to our new quarterly digital newsletter.

Category: Maritime