Client: MV Leander
Contractor: MMC Diving Services
Duration: 2 days
Date posted: 15-07-2015
During the RYS Bicentenary Fleet Review whilst celebrating 200 years of yachting. The Duke of Edinburgh, as Admiral of the Royal Yacht Squadron, was reviewing the yachts belonging to members of the RYS. In attendance were other members of the Royal Family; The Princess Royal, Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Earl and Countess of Wessex and Prince Michael of Kent.
They were also joined by King Harald of Norway, King Constantine II of Greece and Queen Anne-Marie, Prince Albert of Monaco and King Juan Carlos of Spain who are all keen sailors.
Although the Fleet Review is a private event members of the public were able to watch from the shore at the Parade and Green in Cowes, to catch a glimpse of both the yachts on display and the Royal visitors. There was a strict enforced 50m exclusion zone around the display area on the water.
Amongst those vessels attending the event was the MV Leander. MV Leander weighing two thousand tons, is amongst a handful of the largest and most luxurious yachts available for private charter in the World with 24 full time crew and complete with a helicopter pad. She has a range of eight thousand nautical miles, is 246ft long and has a beam of 43ft and draws 14 feet.
Whilst the fleet passed between Leander and the new breakwater off of Cowes, MV Leander misjudged a steel special mark and got her port prop entangled lifting the one ton weight off the seabed and dragging the steel buoy below the surface.
MMC Divers got the emergency call out to attend the vessel. Upon the initial underwater survey being undertaken it was clear the chain had to be cut underwater. There was a high risk of the weight & chain plummeting to the seabed dragging the diver down or of the steel buoy being launched skywards again putting the diver at risk.
A full site specific risk assessment and method statement was put together with zero risk to the diver. The team loaded, ran up and tested all the plant and equipment through the night and cleared the obstruction in the very narrow tidal window the following morning retrieving the buoy and weight for repair.