Trelleborg fenders avert disaster

The bridge sustained only minimal damage thanks to the system consisting of Trelleborg 22 Super Cone fenders The bridge sustained only minimal damage thanks to the system consisting of Trelleborg 22 Super Cone fenders

A collision on a US river has shown the value of Trelleborg fenders to infrastructure, vessels and the environment.

The 600ft oil tanker, Seapride, was travelling on the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, when it collided with one of the piers of the Memorial Bridge – a busy thoroughfare for cyclists, cars and pedestrians.

Trelleborg said that thanks to the fender system in use on the bridge, neither the ship nor the pier sustained damage and a potential environmental disaster was avoided.

Richard Hepworth, Trelleborg Offshore & Construction, said: “The fenders protected not only the bridge but the vessel too. Had the vessel been seriously damaged, it could have resulted in the spillage of the diesel it was carrying – with serious environmental implications.”

The bridge sustained only minimal damage thanks to the system consisting of Trelleborg 22 Super Cone fenders. Just one fender was knocked off completely, while the two adjacent to it suffered damage.

As a result of the effective protection, lift operations at the bridge were not affected, and the structure was kept open to vehicle traffic throughout the incident and subsequent investigations.

Trelleborg supplied the fender systems in 2013, along with chains and accessories. Eleven systems were supplied to protect each of the two piers supporting the span of the bridge. Further fender systems will be supplied as replacements for those damaged by the collision.

It had previously been questioned whether fenders were necessary to protect the piers, given how unlikely it was that such an incident would occur.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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