THV Patricia recently visited Sunk Head Tower to complete its annual inspection. Upon arrival they found that the 5T sinker was heavily sanded.
This meant that during the time the sinker had been sat on the seabed since it was last lifted, it had become buried. This can happen in areas where the seabed consists of sand/mud or in areas close to a sandbank.
This makes recovery of the sinker even more challenging and potentially dangerous for the crew, due to the additional strain this puts on the mooring chain, sinker shackle and sinker lewis. The experienced crew have to decide the best and safest course of action, which can include using the natural buoyancy of the ship to try and pull the sinker rather than rely on mechanics. Alternatively using the rising tide is another option to help free the sinker.
Following their hard work, the annual inspection was completed and the buoy returned to its assigned position.