MMC Diving Services

"Since 1964"

Telephone: 01983 864 330

  • Salvage of a 270 tonne Fishing Vessel

    IOW Divers MMC Diving Services complete a full detailed structural inspection and dimensional survey of the vessel to enable a salvage plan to be undertaken on the Saint Christophe 1 a French fishing vessel that capsized and sank in Dartmouth Harbour. Providing cross trained divers, riggers, confined space rescue and rigging teams.


Client: Clarkson's

Project: Salvage of a 270 tonne Fishing Vessel

Principle Contractor: Multraship & Adler and Allan

Contractor: MMC Diving Services

Duration: 3 weeks

Date posted: 12-04-2016

The Island’s Diving and Salvage company MMC Diving Services have just completed the salvage of a 270 tonne French fishing vessel Saint Christophe 1 which sank while alongside in the beautiful River Dart in Dartmouth.

Working very closely with Multraship and Adler and Allan, MMC had a highly qualified 12 man strong team which included, cross trained access engineers, confined space and high ropes specialists, along with a commercial diving and rigging team.

The Saint Christophe 1 originally from France was granted access in to Dartmouth Harbour to seek refuge from the gale force 10 winds and rough seas in the English Channel.  The vessel moored up on the seawall and touched bottom on the ebb tide, it then listed over to port and flooded. Saint Christophe 1 sank on 10th March 2016 due to lack of buoyancy. The vessel rested firmly on the seabed approximately 4m away from the quay wall, at approximate position: 50° 20’ 58.59 N, 03° 34’ 37.48 W.

At the time of sinking the Saint Christophe had 10 tonnes of fuel on board, 0.5 tonnes of lube oil and was laden with 2 tonne of cargo (fish) and 10 tonne of fishing equipment.

The hull is a composite design with polyester-resin construction, so strength considerations had to be taken in to account when forming a salvage plan.  There was also a high possibility that the hull had been compromised on the starboard side after having been in contact with the seabed for several weeks.

MMC’s Divers penetrated the engine room and shut off all fuel valves on the tanks to prevent fuel leaks, and after filling the fuel tank air vents with underwater expanding foam undertook a full detailed structural survey.

Adler and Allen deployed booms around the vessel for environmental protection and maintained oil response 24/7 up until the time the vessel was recovered.

The currents were typically flowing at 1-1.5 knots, and 24 hour operations were permitted due to the degree of urgency in removing the vessel from her position.

Company director Sam Connelly stated “to be narrowed down to the last two salvage companies, whilst up against global salvage giants as well as 14 other accomplished salvage and wreck removal companies, was a huge achievement for MMC Diving Services and reflects the excellent reputation that MMC has established for professional and competitive diving services in the UK”. 

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