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High risk of encountering UXO when dredging in the Thames Estuary UK

SafeLane's marine team supported Van Oord with unexploded ordnance clearance during the dredging of the Princess Channel in the Thames Estuary.

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High risk of encountering UXO when dredging the Thames Estuary

SafeLane's marine team supported Van Oord during their dredging of the Princess Channel in the Thames Estuary.

During early works, Van Oord was frequently encountering munitions when extracting sand and sediment.  Every time an item of suspected unexploded ordnance was found, they had to call the police to deal with it.  

As the attendance of police was becoming so regular, it became less of an emergency response and more of a mitigation strategy.  As a result, Van Oord determined it would become necessary for the police to begin charging for on-site attendance time - and clearly if the police were stretched with emergency calls, work on the dredging project would have to cease until clearance could happen.

In other words, the frequency of finds was likely to begin impacting heavily on project timelines and profitability.

Consequently Van Oord recognised the need to call in experts to manage the unexploded ordnance (UXO) clearance phase of their dredging project.

Managing UXO clearance during dredging

As a trusted service partner to Van Oord, SafeLane's marine team rapidly deployed to site to assist.  They took over the project management of the UXO threat mitigation element of the Thames dredging project.

The team managed the entire process to the point of disposal, and they liaised with emergency services directly when required.

This saved Van Oord time and money as the emergency services only had to be brought in at the end of each phase to provide the required disposal.

Unexploded ordnance services to support dredging operations

SafeLane categorised and processed the munitions for the client and provided project management services for dealing with the UXO threat.

SafeLane also created and managed a storage facility to enable the safe transfer of discovered munitions to the Royal Navy.  All munitions were then stored until the navy could come down once per week to dispose of discovered munitions.

SafeLane had teams on land performing identification and clearance tasks too, and they were able to advise when it was safe to continue operations or when operations needed to temporarily cease for clearance.

How SafeLane supports dredging operations

Without utilising expert unexploded ordnance survey services, it’s almost impossible to gauge the impact that UXO could have on your upcoming dredging project.

If you encounter UXO unexpectedly it can have a direct impact on your project timelines and budgets – and more critically on the lives of your workers.

Don’t take the risk.  If UXO services are factored in early in the project planning stage, SafeLane will help protect your staff and keep you on time and on budget.

Call today for a free consultation.

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