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Stunning aerial views of Cape Clear as storm gate chamber installed

Wednesday, 1st October, 2014 11:01am
Stunning aerial views of Cape Clear as storm gate chamber installed

The storm gate chamber arrives at Cape Clear

A civil engineering firm has released stunning aerial views of Cape Clear island, as it installed the island's storm gate chamber at the weekend.

The chamber was towed from its base at Verolme Dockyard in Cork to Cape Clear, and the journey was captured in a six-minute video by the firm. Cape Clear is Ireland’s most southerly island, at six miles off Corks’s Atlantic Cost in exposed waters, a few miles from the Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.

To protect the island's boating fleet during severe storms the Irish Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine commissioned hydraulically operated storm gates to enable the inner harbour to be rapidly closed off. These gates require a substantial concrete structure to accurately hold and align the gates, in a water depth varying from 4 to 8 meters.

In response to the Department's tender invitation L&M Keating, based in Kilmihil in Co Clare, offered a solution involving the precasting of the lock in a dry dock in Cork Harbour and installing temporary stop logs to form an enclosed chamber that would float.

This chamber was then towed to site and sunk onto a prepared concrete base. After a week of pre-tow preparation in the dry dock, involving the installation of a deck, emergency pumping arrangements, ballasting, fitting of navigation marks and sea fastening works the sea structure was towed to sea on Saturday morning.

The chamber was towed by the 4,000hp tug “Celtic Isle” provided by the Mainport Group, and was accompanied out of Cork Harbour by the Port Authorities tug 'Gerry O’Sullivan'.

Once at sea the chamber was towed at an average speed of 3.5knts arriving at Cape Clear in the early hours of Sunday. The tow was then transferred to the smaller vessels “Barracuda” Vincent O’Driscoll’s tug boat and Diarmuid O’Donovan’s boat “Souris”, and was brought into its final position against temporary steel guides.

As the tide dropped, the chamber followed the guides down until it rested on the bed prepared earlier by divers. Once on the bottom, the chamber was flooded to prevent it floating off again.

Work now continues to tie the quay on each side of structure in to the chamber, seal anchor the chamber with grout and to install and the electrical and hydraulic system commences.

See the process here, which allows for really great views of the island and harbour: