Search and recovery of discarded beacon light batteries

This is an ongoing project that has spread over the entirety of the BC coast, And tests our commercial dive team regularly with remote marine environments, strong currents and adverse weather conditions.

Historically, dead batteries from marine navigation beacons were tossed into the ocean instead of being properly discarded. Hundreds of these batteries are still settled on the ocean floor near the remote beacons. Our divers meticulously search the area immediately around a navigation beacon, often in less-than-desirable conditions, looking for these 50lb batteries.

When a battery is found, it is safely removed and brought back to land for proper disposal. In addition, sediment and water samples are taken from the recovery site and processed on our purpose-built dive boat. Data is collected and stored for future analysis. Video recordings are also captured, and analyzed back at SeaVeyors headquarters by our in-house Environmental Assessment Biologist.

The first leg of this project brought us to Tofino, on the west coast of Vancouver Island, as well as north to the Kitimat and Prince Rupert areas, with a four-person dive team and representatives from the BC government as well as our client. Our crew is looking forward to continuing this important work into the future, helping to clean up our BC coastline, one battery at a time.

Ḵ̓wax̱wa̱lawadi, Echo Bay Marina & Lodge

When this historic site on the BC coast was purchased by new owners, we initially engaged with them to conduct an anchor survey and supply a simple location diagram. However, it quickly became apparent that these new owners needed more help.

The famous, floating Echo Bay Lodge needed new floatation supports in some spots, and had old structures that needed to be removed for safety concerns, in addition to needing an entirely new anchoring system. The new owners were slightly overwhelmed by the scope of the work needing to be done, and they didn’t have the staff on hand to help coordinate this project on top of the day-to-day running of the Lodge. Our team jumped into action to provide the additional support that was needed.

We came up with a plan to coordinate with a crew we already had in the area on another job, and offset client costs by sharing their accommodations. In addition, we linked in with an aquaculture client who helped us bring in a large crane to assist with anchor placement, which sped up the job considerably.

Overall, this project took over a month to complete with a two-person crew, the results being new floatation supports added, two old and damaged piers removed, and the lodge securely anchored and correctly placed. By utilizing resources already at hand, we were able to keep disruption to the Echo Bay community to a minimum while keeping costs as low as possible for the new owners.

Decommissioned Aquaculture Sites: Ocean floor clean-up

When an aquaculture site is decommissioned, it is a requirement that they engage with a contractor to provide underwater clean-up services at the site. Our team has been heavily involved in multiple projects of this kind, and we are one of the most experienced underwater clean-up crews on the coast.

In addition, we are committed to working with First Nations in whose territory we are operating, which often means that First Nation guardians or observers become a part of our team on these projects.

Clean-up jobs begin with a detailed plan that outlines crew size, equipment needed, conditions both underwater and above water of the site, client expectations and data collection. Some of these variables won’t be known until after we conduct a preliminary survey.

Factors such as site depth play a major role in these projects – many aquaculture sites are located in waters that are too deep to be safe for our divers. This is when our ROV fleet becomes indispensable.

The purpose of the preliminary survey is to first gauge how many items need to be recovered from the ocean floor and second, what those items are. Heavy weight blocks are more challenging to recover back to the surface than netting or lighter debris – conducting a preliminary survey allows us to let the client know exactly how long the clean-up will take, how many items we expect to recover, and whether we may need additional supports, such as a crane barge, throughout the operation.

Underwater clean-ups are usually a multi-week or multi-month project, and can utilize more than one vessel and ROV unit at a time. We are proud of our ability to execute these jobs in a timely fashion, helping to restore ocean environments to their natural state.

New dock installation: Dual-environmental survey

On the Sunshine Coast of BC, near Earl’s Cove, we successfully completed a dual-environmental survey at a private residence which planned on installing a new dock. These surveys are critical for both companies and private owners as a part of the permits and approvals process when looking to install new docks or moorage.

This project utilized one of our Seabotix ROV’s as well as our custom-built SeaVeyor IV vessel. Underwater transects were flown at 10m intervals over the proposed dock site, moving from deep water into the shoreline. Each transect was digitally recorded for analysis. Photos of the terrestrial area were also obtained, and the crew conducted a riparian survey. Both of these surveys were completed in one day.

Back at our office in Black Creek, the underwater video footage was analyzed. Our team concluded that there would be no negative impacts to the benthic environment or any sensitive habitat by installing a dock in that location. The survey and final report were carried out by our in-house Environmental Assessment Biologist Luke Denbigh and Environmental Technician Chris Boldt.