June 2013 – Another SOS from LH Marina

On 17 June we received an urgent email from the marina asking if we could help another customer who had a rope badly fouling his starboard prop. 

The following Saturday therefore saw the intrepid Banstead Divers Rapid Response Team (Andrew, Julian and Tim) discussing (over full Galley cooked breakfasts in the Boathouse Café) how to deal with the twin problems of working in zero vis in the current of the second fastest flowing river in England on one of the biggest spring tides of the year.  A short site examination of river conditions quickly established that a strong incoming tide would probably drag a diver rapidly upriver and out of reach.  A buoyed line was therefore tied to the stern of boat to provide an emergency grab line.

After a patient wait until we thought the current had reached its lowest speed and, with a second line tethered to his pillar valve so we knew where he was and could haul him in if he got into difficulty, Julian dropped over the stern into the coffee coloured water in full diving gear and disappeared under the hull.

Wedging himself firmly against the hull and the prop shaft to stop himself being whisked away by the current and working in about 6” visibility Julian discovered that the rope had become firmly wrapped round the prop blades as well as the shaft itself.   He managed to cut through and remove the offending rope, checked the port prop to ensure there were no similar problems, checked the hull for any damage and cleaned the weed festooning the planing boards.

“job done”

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