Following the successful completion of the initial 3-year contract, EGS International Ltd have been awarded a 2-year extension for the monitoring surveys of the SS Richard Montgomery wreck. The contract is included in the framework of the Civil Hydrography Programme (CHP), managed by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA).
The SS Richard Montgomery is a US Liberty ship which sank in the Thames Estuary in August 1944 whilst carrying a cargo of munitions. When the vessel sank, it broke into two sections. These two sections lie approximately 10 metres apart on Sheerness Middle Sand, to the north of the Medway Approach Channel.
As part of the administration on behalf of the Department for Transport (DfT), the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has a requirement for the provision of repeated surveys to monitor the condition of the wreck, which still hold munitions containing approximately 1,400 tonnes of explosives, to identify any changes and deterioration and to inform future management strategies.
Surveying the SS Richard Montgomery requires the acquisition of detailed, high resolution multibeam bathymetry in a dynamic, shallow water area where changing seabed levels are significant for the safety of navigation. Laser scanning equipment is also used to collect data on the masts and all the other structures which are visible above the waterline.
Chris Howlet, Head of EGS’ Hydrography Department, commented: “Our technical expertise has assisted the MCA with their ongoing monitoring of the SS Montgomery since 2013, we look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the organisation.”