Polar safety kit to protect Arctic waters

A Miko magnetic patch in use with additional magnets Photo: Miko A Miko magnetic patch in use with additional magnets Photo: Miko

A new system has been developed for applying Miko magnetic patches to ships that have been holed by ice in Polar waters in order to prevent pollution.

The kit is expected to be of particular value to vessels of all types that are applying for Polar Code certification as it could help to demonstrate their preparedness for dealing with hull damage that might be caused by ice.

Magnet power

Miko’s kit contains a selection of magnetic patches and high-power magnets that can be lowered and secured over an area of hull damage. In an emergency, a patch made from a strong laminate that includes a flexible magnetic layer, can be lowered over the hole where it will stick like a giant fridge magnet.

The magnetic adhesion of the patch combined with the outside water pressure closes the hole and keeps it securely in place.

Additional high-power magnets might also be used to maintain the seal until the ship is safely in dock.

Studies have shown that that ice damage is most likely to occur near or just below the water-line so the new Polar kit has been developed to deal with these situations effectively.

It contains a system of handling lines pre-rigged through magnets that are attached to the ship’s hull above and below the damaged area. These enable ships to lower and fasten a magnetic patch over a hole without the use of divers and thereby secure the vessel against water entry.

By Anne-Marie Causer

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