16 March 2018

Shoreham Port is ideally situated on the South Coast of England to offer a range of Maritime Services to passing vessels, owners, agents and crews using one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Within the range of Maritime Services provided is seabed levelling.

Seabed levelling is a modern day dredging technique used in many ports and harbours. The process involves towing a plough along the seabed levelling high spots and ridges, by moving the material to nearby deeper areas and getting the tidal stream to move the material in suspension longer distances. Built up material can also be removed from berths and other inaccessible areas into the tidal stream or to an area where a trailer suction hopper dredger is operating.

Portsmouth Harbour Naval Base have recently conducted an extensive dredge campaign to enhance their current facilities. Following on from this work, seabed levelling was then required in areas where the trailer suction hopper dredger could not work to finish the overall campaign.

Shoreham Port were contacted last week at short notice to undertake this seabed levelling work by Boskalis Westminster UK within Portsmouth Harbour.  After the vessel they had originally contracted became unavailable due to mechanical issues. On accepting the job, Shoreham Port’s tug crew departed immediately from Shoreham to make it to Portsmouth in time to start the work the following day. The bed levelling works were completed in three days and the team returned to Shoreham in the early hours of Sunday morning.  The operation was an example of great team work from Shoreham Port who rose to the challenge at short notice and completed the job within the allocated time frame.

The Port worked closely with the onsite surveyor from Boskalis Westminster UK to ensure that the target depths were being achieved in each area requiring work by means of the surveyor conducting bathymetric surveys, enabling the client to monitor the progress of work throughout. The job was a great success, which is evident from the before and after bathymetric surveys. The surveys show how effective the plough was at shifting the silt and levelling the seabed as required by Boskalis Westminster UK.

James Gray, Assistant Harbour Master at Shoreham Port commented “I am really pleased to have been able to assist Boskalis Westminster UK with these works at such short notice. A big thank you to my team for pulling together and taking on the challenge at short notice. It’s an exciting time for our Marine Services, with the imminent arrival of our new tug which should be with us later in the year. We have commissioned the build of the additional tug to add to our fleet. The new tug will enable us to increase our availability for facilitating more seabed levelling operations in the future.”

If you have any requirements for seabed levelling and wish to discuss the options Shoreham Port can provide please contact 01273 598100 or email Jgray@shoreham-port.co.uk.

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