Innovative idea improves dredging

Dredging with the plough attached to the tug Adurni
Dredging with the plough attached to the tug Adurni

AN innovative idea by staff at Shoreham Port has seen a great improvement in dredging operations.

The tug Adurni is used constantly to rake material away using a towed plough, in order to maintaining adequate water depths.

James Gray, assistant harbour master, and Darren Todman, tug master, have been looking at ways to make the process more efficient.

Following discussions with harbour master Julian Seaman about the main challenges, it was concluded the varying angle of the plough’s teeth to the seabed, at ever-changing tidal heights, was causing it to plane along the seabed rather than penetrate the shoaling areas that needed to be removed.

Mr Seaman said: “James and Darren came up with the ingenious idea and by tweaking the design of the plough have made it more efficient to the changing tidal height.

“I am delighted to report that their innovation appears to be a great success, not only in soft material but also on very hard and compacted sand, which we have always struggled to move in the past.”

Mr Gray said Shoreham Port had been supportive of their endeavours to improve the efficiency of the plough and their dredging efforts were now more productive.

“It is great that improvements suggested by staff are fully explored and taken on board wherever possible,” he added.

Shoreham Port chief executive Rodney Lunn said he was extremely grateful for the team’s research efforts.

“Their innovative solution to the problems associated with the plough has already produced positive results,” he added.

“It is fantastic that we have such highly skilled staff employed within the port, who are able to lead projects such as this and contribute towards improving the efficient running of the port.”