US Navy assists Seychelles Coast Guard in wreckage removal
Work is being done to remove the wreckage of a vessel at the ex-Seychelles Coast Guard pier located at Bois de Rose ahead of the Port Victoria expansion and rehabilitation project.
A complete hydrographic survey of the Seychelles harbour and the Seychelles Coast Guard pier area is also being carried out.
Organised by the U.S. Embassy to Mauritius and Seychelles in collaboration with the U.S. Commander Task Force 68 (CTF-68), the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA) and the Seychelles Coast Guard 9SCG), the dive engagement activities started on December 3 and will continue until December 23.
Thirteen divers of the U.S. Navy together with their SCG counterparts are diving up to 8 hours per day to remove the submerged wreckage of the Oceans Bounty that sank at the ex-Seychelles Coast Guard pier in 2018.
The SPA’s chief executive, Sony Payet, outlined on Friday that the wreckage is a navigational hazard in the port area and is blocking valuable pier space.
The work is being done to remove the wreckage of a vessel at the ex-Seychelles Coast Guard pier located. (Salifa Karapetyan, Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY
“The removal of this wreck is necessary to clear the seabed in this area as the new key wall to be constructed will reach up to this point and there will be a lot of boat activities here in the future,” said Payet.
He added that this is the first of seven wrecks to be removed in the area. Due to the size of the vessel and the amount of sediment that has accumulated in it, divers are required to cut the vessel and salvage it in smaller pieces.
“There are other phases that will be discussed with the U.S. Embassy and the Seychelles Coast Guard so that we can slowly remove the other wreckage, ahead of the development work on the port that will hopefully start next year,” said Payet.
Such an exercise will also provide more knowledge and experience to divers from the Seychelles Coast Guard as they become better acquainted with the different underwater cutting techniques being applied and various equipment being used.
Through the hydrographic survey of the Seychelles harbour and the Seychelles Coast Guard pier areas, valuable data on the topography of the areas are being collected.
“For the port expansion we need to know the depth of the area which will allow us to make calculated decisions for ongoing and future planning exercises,” said Payet.
The survey is the largest survey to date that the CTF-68 team, based in Rota, Spain, has carried out.