9 June 2014

Shoreham Port’s dry dock has been very busy over the last few months. Currently in the dry dock is a vessel called the M/T Nore Challenger. The vessel is owned by Murry Tugs Ltd and is undergoing a pre-sale survey. The M/T Nore Challenger has been docked at Shoreham four times since 2001.

Her main role prior to coming to Shoreham was to provide towing services on the River Thames, River Medway and the Swale. If the sale goes ahead her new owner will be Keos-Salvage Ltd from France. After starting life in Dunkirk as the M/T Superbe, the M/T Nore Challenger is likely to return to her home country.  

To carry out the survey, Shoreham Port’s engineering team started by carefully stabilising the 184 tonne vessel in the dry dock. The vessel was then lined up and held in the centre of the dock and the water was pumped out. When the stern section of the vessel’s keel landed on the keel blocks a horizontal shore was then wedged between the vessel and the dock wall on both sides to hold it vertical.

More water was then pumped out of the dock until the bow section of the vessel’s keel landed on the keel blocks. The remaining shores were then put into place to hold the vessel firmly in the centre of the dock and the remaining water was pumped out until the dock was dry.

The dry dock is an ideal facility for tug and fishing boats and other vessels on the South Coast to access all areas of their vessel for repairs and maintenance. The dry dock enables speedy repairs and at 50.5 meters in length and 10 meters in breadth, the dry dock can accommodate a wide variety of vessels with the option to operate mobile cranes of up to 80 tonnes.    

Keith Wadey, Assistant Port Engineer at Shoreham Port commented “With the M/T Challenger heading back to France this will probably be the last time we see her at Shoreham, but I have been informed by Murry Tugs that they have purchased the ex SeaLink tug M/T Meeching which we have docked at Shoreham on numerous occasions. Hopefully as the M/T Nore Challenger sails for France she will be replaced in the dry dock by the M/T Meeching in the near future.”