The UK has seen prolific growth in the offshore energy industry in both UK and European waters. Construction activities including the installation of wind turbine foundations, cable laying, pipeline development and general infrastructure improvements are taking place on an unprecedented scale. Operators are becoming increasingly aware of the ongoing threat posed by migration of UXO on the seabed.
The offshore risk is posed by a large legacy of UXO, left on the seabed during both world wars, from years of ordnance dumping and military training and testing activities. Fellows recognise how important it is for offshore developers to address the site-specific risks posed by UXO, both for the safety of personnel and equipment and ultimately for the successful completion of a project. There are numerous examples of offshore construction projects that have experienced costly delays relating to the unplanned location of UXO, highlighting the need for a robust and coordinated approach to UXO risk management.
With a management team of ex Royal Navy Officers and Senior Ratings, Fellows are uniquely placed to assist with the unique demands of offshore UXO risk management. Fellows only use fully qualified personnel with the correct level of experience and training. Advanced Operators are a key part of the decision making and risk management process and all Fellows offshore tasks will be supervised by suitably qualified and experienced ex Royal Navy Advanced EOD Operators.
Fellows carry out all of their offshore operations in accordance with robust method statements, produced from considerable military and commercial experience and in line with the best practice guidelines outlined in CIRIA Report C754 and the IMAS 09-60 document (published by the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining.)
In the offshore environment, every project is unique. Fellows can provide support across the complete project lifecycle.
UXO Risk Identification
Fellows undertake comprehensive desk studies to identify the likely UXO threat in a particular area. The desk study can be broad in nature, covering a broad region, or they can be produced for a narrow, well-defined area. To identify the UXO risk Fellows utilise a number of different sources, including: the national archives, military records, war records, range maps, disposal records, nautical charts, news articles, public documents and databases and a number of other relevant sources. The information gathered in the preliminary desk study can then be utilised to inform the survey phase.
Fellows work closely with trusted survey partners to deliver a comprehensive UXO survey capability. Our professionally qualified ex-Naval UXO Engineers work alongside the survey providers to classify sonar contacts and detected anomalies and can visually identify items found by divers or by remote means such as ROVs or AUVs.
Clearance / Disposal
Once a UXO threat has been positively identified, Fellows can provide information and resources to allow items of UXO to be removed, destroyed or left in place. Taking into account environmental aspects and the strict regulations that govern maritime developments, Fellows work closely with experienced and accredited suppliers and environmental organisations to provide a UXO solution that is both sustainable and resilient.
Fellows recognise the importance of a reliable and proven UXO disposal system. For this reason, we utilise the world-renowned COBRA Mine Disposal System for clearance of seabed munitions. From sea mines and torpedo warheads to bombs and shells, the COBRA system is versatile and reliable. Fellows utilise the COBRA mine disposal system in a variety of different configurations, specific to each the item of ordnance. The system delivers an extremely high success rate.