Rope and Sling Specialists Ltd. (RSS) donated lifting and rigging gear to the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre in East London as the charity had a requirement to lift a 2.5t rescue support boat out of the River Thames onto land for maintenance and repair.
The activity centre is located next to the King Edward Memorial Park Foreshore (Wapping) site of the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, a major new sewer. RSS is a frequent visitor to the area, providing lifting equipment and periodic Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) inspections for the site, made up of the foreshore of the tidal Thames River next to King Edward Memorial Park and an area to the south.
The activity centre provides watersports and adventurous activities, including training courses, events, and sessions for groups, schools, and individuals throughout the year. It approached Tideway officials to ask for their help to lift a boat out of the water and back again once repairs were completed. To experienced lifting professionals the project was routine, but the charity wouldn’t have been able to execute it alone.
Graham Dawson, depot manager at RSS’s Aylesford facility, said: “When I heard about the centre’s requirement I had no hesitation in offering them our equipment free of charge. We spend a lot of time at the site and were able to time delivery with a three-week-long LOLER inspection, led by Steve Conroy, that we complete every three months. It was a great opportunity to combine important safety-related work with supporting a good community cause.”
RSS supplied two MOD 6 spreader beams at 2.5m and two 10t capacity, 12m-long duplex webbing boat slings. The boat was 7m long and 2.5m wide; a canoeist and slinger combined to pass the slings underneath the vessel whilst in the water before a three-axle Liebherr mobile crane, kindly donated by Emerson Crane Hire, already rigged with the top slings, raised it from the water.
Simon Steane, lifting operations manager for Tideway East, the section of the super sewer that runs from Chambers Wharf in Bermondsey to Abbey Mills, near Stratford, said: “Everyone involved was very happy to help the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre with their boat lift. We use RSS for their fast response time, professionalism, and flexibility.”
Mike Wardle, centre director at the Shadwell Basin Outdoor Activity Centre, said: “Our assets like our safety boat enable us to have larger numbers of people accessing the river safely. We particularly target young people from low economic backgrounds and young people with disabilities. We also give young people a pathway to employment in sports coaching through our youth project. We raise funding to deliver the activities from grant giving bodies, organisations, business, and donations.”
He added: “Any company that assists us with their technical and professional skills is worth their weight in gold and for the staff and volunteers that impart their time at the charity a source of relief. The safety boat is now in dry dock and is undergoing repairs to the pro shaft as well as a deserved major service. A massive thank you to all who have helped our community!”