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Our hydrography team have
inked a deal to put a new
high-tech, fuel-efficient
survey vessel on the Thames.

The purpose-built catamaran,
a CTruk MPC19, will continue
the team’s vital work
facilitating safe navigation
on the river and replace
Yantlet, a survey vessel nearing
the end of her service life. The
team currently has keeps tabs
on 400 sq miles of the Thames
and its estuary, from the tidal limit in the west out to the North Sea.

The new boat’s twin-hull design aids smooth passage through the water, while its low draught allows greater shallow water access and a low air draught will enable it to get under London’s bridges with ease.

Capt. John Pinder, port hydrographer, said: “This boat should be an excellent addition to our fleet. It offers more space to our busy crew and its fuel efficiency is a bonus that will help us keep costs down. We very much look forward to taking delivery of the craft and naming her.”

CTruk has built 18 of these multi-purpose cats to date, with the popular design racking up thousands of service hours on operations throughout the UK and Europe.

Our divers featured in a BBC news story
earlier this month after salvaging printing
blocks from a typeface dumped in the
Thames 100 years ago.

More than 150 pieces of the Doves Type
were recovered by PLA divers over two days
last year, after we were commissioned by
designer Robert Green. The original Doves
Type wasmade for a London company founded
by Emery Walker and Thomas Cobden-Sanderson.

But the business flopped in 1909, the pair fell 
out and Cobden-Sanderson later spent months secretly tipping almost 1.2 tonnes of the type 
into the Thames, ensuring no one could use it
if he couldn’t. Under cover of darkness, he
made around 170 trips to Hammersmith Bridge 
to drop small parcels of blocks into the water.

Last year, Robert Green decided to try and find
the originals after working for years on a digital copy of Doves Type. Divers scooped out blocks 
of the typeface after searching near
Hammersmith Bridge, but many pieces
are still lost.

 
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