Contractor: Lloyds Insurers
Duration: 9 days
Date posted: 15-11-2013
Mv Kahu, a £3.2M luxury yacht weighing approximately 130 tonnes, has sunk at its mooring on the Isle of Wight after being destroyed by fire. Crews spent 10 hours tackling the blaze, which sent plumes of black smoke into the air above East Cowes. It was reported at 13:00 GMT on Tuesday 5th November, at its height, there were more than 30 firefighters at the marina.
The Cowes Harbour Commission along with the boat's insurance company started working in a joint venture with Cowes-based salvage company MMC Diving Services and unique Seaflex to recover the "Kahu" in the coming days.
The wreck was raised after working around the clock for 6 days in order to dive all the slack waters. We dredged holes beneath the vessel using jet lifting and used an air lance to create the space beneath the hull big enough to feed the large support strops and then attach some 80 tonnes of lift using air bags supplied by Seaflex.
Once the vessel was on the surface our divers fed the large lifting strops under the hull to connect to the crane. Our divers set up to lift the hull, allowing water to drain out slowly. It was then taken by barge to a disposal site in Portsmouth.
We removed around two thirds of the boat's 8,000 litres of fuel with the help of Adler and Allan, the MCA's Counter Pollution Officer and authorities including Solent Environment Group were involved from day one to help minimise pollution. Booms had been placed around the vessel to catch leaks from the sunken Kahu, which were then skimmed off the water and put into tanks to be taken ashore.
"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."
Counter Pollution and Salvage Officer
Maritime and Coastguard Agency
"Thanks to the efforts of Cowes Harbour Commission, MMC Diving Services salvage 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."
Chair of the Solent Environment Group
"A Textbook Responce, The Professionalism shown was exemplary. 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 mmc 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."
Capt. Stuart McIntosh