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Creature of the night
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Discussion Starter #1
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<font color='#000080'>Hi All,

here is a copy of the e-mail I recieved re: the diving ban on the Hood, I don't hold out much hope for reinstatement but I guess there is a glimmer of hope.

Safe diving,


It is confirmed that a temporary halt in diving approval for the wreck of the HOOD has recently been enforced.  The reasons for this are as follows:

The depth of water at the South Ship entrance has increased from 2m to 5m in the last few years this has led to:

a. Larger swell conditions through the entrance
b. Increased depth therefore (although the entrance is supposed to be closed) use by larger vessels.
c. An indication that the wreck itself is settling quite rapidly.

It should be appreciated that the Portland Harbour Authority is responsible for the safety of all harbour users; the authority is required under the Port Marine Safety Code to carry out risk assessments on a regular basis.  The risk assessment is audited six monthly by an independent marine solicitor who monitors the safety performance of the authority.

Following the recent audit the auditor recommended that some action be taken to recognise the increased risk presented by a, b and c above, the following options are available:

1. Do nothing the conditions that all divers have enjoyed in the past have been changed as in a, b and c above, to do nothing was considered to be an option that would leave the Authority vulnerable.
2. Remove the wreck and open up the entrance for fully authorised use not a desirable option for the authority as vessels entering through the South Ship Channel would cross the commercial vessel navigation routes.
3. Restore the original 2m depth and carry out a safety survey of the wreck the preferred option for the Authority.

The advice to the Authority, given by the independent auditor, was to enforce a temporary ban on diving and to reinforce the prohibition of vessels using the channel until a permanent solution was found.  This was carried out using the Local Notice to Mariners (LNTM), the LNTM is the most efficient and speedy method of communicating temporary decisions such as this, all harbour users should be aware that there is no requirement for the Harbour Authority to consult on matters dealt with by LNTM.  

Action now is in hand to come to a clear and fully consulted way ahead, it is stressed that full consultation with the Harbour Consultation Committee, upon which all harbour users are represented, will be carried out.  Once a final decision is made all parties will be informed through proper channels.
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