Featuring storm damage to Tristan da Cunha's Calshot Harbour in 2010 and repair work carried out in 2011.

News of Repairs to the Storm Damaged Harbour

Featuring storm damage in 2010 and work carried out in 2011
To start at the beginning move to the 2010 Storm Damage Section
Push starting the crane on 12th February
Dolosse arriving by barge from MV Baltic Trader on 15th February
Report and pictures from Administrator Sean Burns on 27th February 2011
Good weather continued and the cranes (gantry as well as the crawler), the dolosse and all the other equipment is now ashore. This is just as well as the weather over the last few days would have made off loading impossible. There have been some teething problems with the crawler crane and to help fix these we have another engineer coming out on The Edinburgh, which leaves Cape Town  next week. As you can see from the photos, Sea and Shore has started start stitching the dolosse together (they came in two 5 ton halves) but these have to set for a few weeks before they can be placed on the breakwater. Work has also started on the broken section of the cap at the end of the western breakwater. As soon as the weather clears and she is able to take on passengers, The Baltic Trader will depart for Cape Town returning to Tristan in April to collect the contractors and backload their equipment.  So overall, despite a few but inevitable challenges, the project is progressing well.

Dolosse being 'stitched' together on the beach east of the harbour on 23rd February

Works begin to
further strengthen
Calshot Harbour
following storm damage
in 2010

See below for details
of the storm damage

Pictures and report
Tristan da Cunha Administrator
Sean Burns

Left: MV Baltic Trader (left)
and MV Edinburgh at anchor on Saturday 5th February 2011

Left: Offloading MV Baltic Trader in perfect weather on 5th February

Right: Excavator comes ashore

First Report on the works from Sean Burns on 12th February

On Friday night (4th February), two days after we had waved good bye to the Governor and the RMS visitors, The Baltic Trader and the Edinburgh both arrived carrying the contractors and equipment for the Harbour Project. Their aim is to place 80 (up from 50) ten tonne dolosse on the Eastern breakwater, which was damaged in the storms last winter. The project, which is costing £6m, is being paid for by the Department for International Development (DfID). These are emergency repairs only and we are still waiting to hear what the longer term solution might be. WSP are the consulting engineers, Apple is in charge of the logistics and Sea and Shore are the contractors. They are all based in South Africa and they (18 personnel) will be here for three months. The repairs must be completed by the end of April when the Baltic Trader (which is being chartered for three months) will return to Tristan to back load some of the equipment and take the contractors back to South Africa. The crane and the new barge will stay here.

The first few weeks will be critical as the Baltic Trader is off loaded. There are some very heavy and risky lifts to manage. A large crawler crane, a gantry crane, an excavator, aggregate, 160 half dolosse plus all the other equipment need bringing ashore over the next four weeks. I am pleased to report that during the first few days we were blessed with some wonderful weather, which meant the barge crews (islanders) were able to make good progress with these lifts. They have made a great start but as readers appreciate, the weather here is variable to say the least...fingers crossed!

Although conditions here deteriorated yesterday and today (Saturday) we have quite a swell, the barges are still off loading. I never cease to be amazed at the skill of the barge crews here as they load their barges and then bring up to 18 tons of equipment ashore in one load, navigating the narrow and often rough harbour. This is skilled and dangerous work.

We aim to keep visitors up to date with this project as it develops.
See also separate Calshot Harbour Page for background to the harbour
and below for the 2010 storm damage and official announcement from DfID of the £6m funding.

Question on Tristan Harbour Refurbishment Funding

The answer to a question to International Development Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell from Labour MP for East Kilbride, Strathhaven and Lesmahagow Michael McCann was published in Hansard on 3rd December 2010 and can be found on the separate Tristan in Parliament Page.

Wednesday 17th November 2010

Press Release from DfID announced funding for further harbour repairs

Vital lifeline to remote British territory to be repaired

A storm-damaged harbour on the remote British Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha is to undergo emergency repairs in an effort to prevent the island from being cut off from its only access to outside supplies and help.

The UK Government is to help fix the crumbling Calshot Harbour before the impending southern hemisphere winter storms hit, securing the only gateway to the island for its residents and supply boats.

The harbour is vital to one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world but was severely damaged in a storm earlier this year.

Expert analysis by construction consultants WSP Group has shown that without urgent repair work, the harbour will be at risk of further damage or even being rendered unusable during harsh winter weather in the South Atlantic. The repair work will help protect the island’s fishing industry, one of its few sources of revenue.

The Department for International Development will procure fifty 10-tonne concrete ‘dolosse’ blocks specially designed to protect the most vulnerable part of the harbour from future storms. The interlocking blocks are designed to break waves, and deflect their power from the harbour itself. A crane will also be purchased to position them. This equipment will enhance the islanders’ ability to make their own repairs in future.

Shipping is the sole means of regular access to the island. Islanders – who have British citizenship – therefore rely on the harbour to survive and make a living.

Without a harbour, tourism and fishing – the major sources of income on the island – would be severely reduced. Islanders would not be able to receive regular supplies, cutting off their means of earning a living.

Without this means of generating income, the people of Tristan da Cunha will require a significant extra subsidy from British taxpayers every year.

Andrew Mitchell, Secretary of State for International Development said:

”Without these repairs, Calshot Harbour will deteriorate further and could be completely destroyed. Emergency repairs will ensure that life on the island can continue and will prevent more costly damage. The British Government will honour our commitment to our citizens on Tristan da Cunha and continue to help them stand on their own two feet.”

The estimated cost of manufacturing and installing the concrete armour blocks on Tristan da Cunha will be £6 million.

Tristan da Cunha Administrator Sean Burns made the following statement on 17th November 2010 :

'The Island Council who met earlier today were delighted with the news that DfID had acted so quickly and come up with a plan for our harbour. The damage that occurred last winter has been a real worry to us and we are pleased to note that larger 10-tonne dolosse units will now be placed to protect the western breakwater. The news that a crane will also be retained on the island so that we can make repairs ourselves in the future is also very welcome. We look forward to welcoming the teams here and working with them over the next few months.'

Calshot Harbour's August 2010 Storm Damage
Pictures from Marie Repetto below show a sequence of photographs showing storms of 9th August and subsequent shots showing damage to Calshot Harbour's West Pier to supplement the earlier report and pictures below from David Morley.
Engineering consultants travelled to Tristan on SA Agulhas and we hope to report of any planned works in due course.

9th August ~ Left: Swells overwhelm the harbour; Centre: A swell sweeping over the wave wall into the harbour;
ght: A view looking across the lagoon alongside the 1961 lava flow towards Calshot Harbour.
The lagoon area has been proposed as an alternative site for the harbour.

11th August: Swells continue and the damaged concrete block is now visible.

16th August: Behind the barricade ~
A view of another swell threatening the harbour

16th August: Waves again sweeping over the Western Breakwater.

17th August: Close up of the lifted block

17th August: Daylight visible underneath the raised block

21st August: Damaged block exposed as the dolosse defences were removed by the storm