Client: Private Owner
Contractor: MMC Diving Services
Duration: 3 Days
Date posted: 17-04-2013
MMC Salvage experts put in a titanic effort to raise the Sea Raider.
Sea Raider was lying in 25 metres of water, on the edge of the main shipping channel into Southampton, the planned half-day operation to recover the vessel from the seabed became a challenging three-day battle against poor visibility and strong spring tides.
The vessel sank around midnight on December 10th, roughly 1.5 nautical miles off Cowes after hitting a navigational mark enroute home from Portsmouth to Cowes after a nights fishing charter.
The owner who launched his dream business, Sea Raider Fishing Charters, escaped unhurt thanks to the rapid response of the coastguard helicopter, which plucked him from the freezing cold Solent, seconds before his vessel sank.
The owner contracted Island based MMC Diving Services to take on her salvage, as it posed a hazard to navigation for deep-draft vessels, and his legal obligation to remove the wreckage.
MMC spokesperson commented, "Due to her position on the seabed, our team had only a narrow window each day to dive, not helped by the very strong spring tides. Slack water only lasted 40 minutes twice a day, so our divers had to be dressed in and ready to go immediately as the tide eased. Visibility on the bottom was zero, even with high-powered specialist head torches."
The wreck was pinpointed using MMC's side-scan sonar and a magnetometer. A line was secured to the vessel to the surface to enable the divers to find the wreckage of Sea Raider.
Four large two tonne lifting bags were used through a Manifold fed from the surface compressor and once the vessel penetrated the surface she was towed to Cowes Yacht Haven and cradled out.
The owner who has since sold Sea Raider, said his business would continue as normal but with a different boat.