Tagged boat

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Our client needed to install a signal cable across a 23m wide section of the river Avon in Dorset. The signal cable will be a vital component in the water level monitoring and flood forecasting system.

From here to there – where the new cable needed to go

But how do you get a cable across a river which is over 3m deep – and how do you protect it and ensure that it stays in place?

Working with the team at Commercial and Specialised Diving Ltd, a plan was devised to use a 63mm twinwall duct, laid as a single run across the bed of the river.

2m lengths of heavy equal angle steel were prepared and galvanised. These would be laid over the duct and fixed to it. The steel would offer impact protection to the duct and also act as ballast to hold it in place on the river bed.

The banks at this location are piled vertical walls. On the right hand bank the duct was laid in to an existing but redundant stilling tube and on the left bank the duct was fixed into the web of the existing sheet piling.

Going in

The underwater work was carried out by a diver equipped with surface supplied equipment. This is where the air is supplied to him from the surface through a hose known as an umbilical. The air supply is constantly monitored by another member of the team who can also communicate with the diver through the umbilical. A second diver remained on the bank fully suited up, ready to provide assistance if required or even a rescue should a problem occur. Two further members of the team worked from a support boat.

The first job for the diver was to clear the weed from the river bed along the route of the duct. With this done the ducting, complete with draw cord was floated across the river and loosely secured on the opposite bank. The duct was then pushed up the stilling tube and secured at a pre-cut access port.

Going down!

The first section of steel was then roped down to the diver from the bank. The diver then laid the steel over the duct, the steel and duct were then fixed together.

The next sections of steel were loaded on to the support boat and carried in to the channel, where they were roped down to the diver one at a time and laid and secured in to position.

At the far bank the duct was fixed in to the web of one of the sheet piles.

Lots of kit required

The cable was then securely tied to the draw cord and pulled through the duct from the far bank. Once the cable had emerged from the duct the draw cord was removed and the cable coiled up for later connection.

Made it – job done

Once all of the works in the water were complete the diver was retrieved from the river and given a well earned hot cup of tea – he had been in the water for over an hour.

What a difference a day makes

Yesterday saw a miraculous change at Old Ford Lock on the Regents Canal in Tower Hamlets, East London.

We are working under contract to Fountains, carrying out ongoing maintenance work for the Canal and River Trust. One of our “Aquatractor” weed boats works on the London canals through out the summer, cutting weed, removing litter and keeping the waterways looking their best.

Here are more details of our weed boats: http://kingcombe.com/aquatractor/home/

Kingcombe Aquacare Weed Boat Day

Aquatic Weed Harvester Demonstration on 4th April 2017 from 10:00am


Braunston Marina is situated at the junction of the Grand Union and Oxford Canals and was originally developed at the turn of the 19th century as the waterways depot at the northern end of what was then called the Grand Junction Canal. It now forms a focus for those interested in the canals, their boats and history.

With the kind permission of Braunston Marinas management team we are holding a demonstration event where industry professionals can come and see two of our “Aquatractor” weed harvesting boats and get a close  look at its unique features.

The boats “Jenny” and “Gordon” are based on a well tried and proven design. Capable of being trailered to site they are an efficient, reliable and agile workhorse capable of maintaining a high level of aquatic weed harvesting hour after hour. Unlike many boats the “Aquatractor” cuts and collects aquatic weed, which can then be deposited onto the bank or into a barge or trailer.


The purpose of the day is to show the two boats to interested professionals and riparian owners who might have an interest in learning more about this method of mechanical weed control. During the season we have one boat based in London and the others operate from Somerset, regularly travelling as far afield as Liverpool, the North East and the Broads.

There will be members of Kingcombe staff on hand to discuss particular problems and introduce you to the wide range of services we offer.


If you would like to come along, see the boats, walk around this historic site or enjoy a complimentary cup of tea and bacon roll at the Gongoozler’s floating café then please get in touch with Kelly to book a place on ke@kingcombe.com or call 01460 279200.

The Marina itself is located here: http://www.braunstonmarina.co.uk/Contact-Find-us

Get in touch if you are able to come along, we would love to see you.


Aqua tractor fully laden and starting to unload

Our new aquatic weed harvester, “Jenny”

Wednesday 6th April 2016, it’s a big day for Kingcombe Aquacare.

Today at 12:00 noon we are going to launch our new weed harvester “Jenny”. She is being named Jenny in memory of our dear friend and colleague, who lost her battle to cancer in 2011.

The boat is launching at Coldharbour Boat Ramp at Ham near Taunton (which we built for the Environment Agency); this will be signed from the A358. There is space to park. The postcode is TA3 5NZ at the junction of White Street and Knapp Road.

If you are local and have a spare hour please do come and say hello. You can see the boat at work, either from the bank or jump in the passenger seat and talk to the operator as you go up river. Come and chat to our staff either about the boat or any other service that we can provide. We will be on site from 11am until 3pm, there will be pasties and hot drinks available.

“Jenny” is joining our other AquaTractor “Gordon” to deal with the increased workload to provide a reliable and flexible service.

Our AquaTractor weed harvester offers the following benefits for aquatic weed control:

  •  A reliable, productive workhorse
  • Weed cutting depth to 1.950m
  • Extremely manoeuvrable
  • Weed free helix screw propulsion unit, directional through 180°, with hydraulically adjustable operating depth
  • Shallow draft (laden draft of only 325mm)
  • Hold capacity up to 5m³
  • Discharge speed less than 2 minutes
  • Less than 30 minutes to launch and prepare for operation = maximum productivityAquaTractor - an efficient, effective and reliable aquatic weed harvester, in action