Home » UXO Services » Marine UXO Services

1st Line Defence provides a wide-range of Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) risk mitigation services to protect marine projects from the risk of explosive ordnance and chemical contamination – from Minefields, Naval Conflicts, Aerial bombing, Military shipwrecks, Military training and dumping of munitions / explosives.

Our specialists offer vast experience working in a wide-range of marine environments and we can support your projects independently or in collaboration with Developers, Contractors, Local Authorities, International Mine Action Agencies or Joint Military Operations.

We combine leading industry technologies and methods with highly-experienced personnel to locate, recover and dispose of UXO and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) from rivers, lakes, docks, beaches, intertidal zones and offshore – safely and efficiently – whilst also understanding our clients deadlines to deliver a project on time and in budget.

We offer services for the following industry sectors: Oil & Gas Industry, Offshore Renewables, Cables, Dredging & Infrastructure / Port Development.

Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) found in the Ocean

Consultancy & Management Services

Marine UXO Risk Assessments & Desktop Studies>
Example of a Marine Minefield Map Example of a Marine Minefield Map

Our Marine UXO Risk Assessments take into consideration not only the historic risk of contamination in an area, but also factors such as the scope of the proposed works, seabed geology, burial depth, water depth and risk / consequences of detonation – working in accordance to CIRIA C754 Guidelines.

We consider evidence including:

  • History of Area
  • WWI German and Allied Sea Mines
  • WWII German and Allied Sea Mines
  • Firing Ranges/Seaward Armament Training Areas
  • Naval Exercise/Training Areas
  • Wrecks
  • Munitions Dump Sites
  • Explosive Ordnance Finds
  • Coastal Gun Batteries
  • WWI and WWII Bombing and Shelling
  • Offshore Incidents Involving Munitions
  • Aircraft Activity and Crashes
  • Submarine Exercise Areas

All relevant sources of information will be accessed, analysed and presented to the client with detailed analysis, and if necessary – we will provide recommendations to mitigate any potential risk of UXO on your project.

Risk Mitigation Strategies>
Offshore wind farm and the turbines spinning against blue sky Image showing a offshore wind farm and the turbines spinning against blue sky

Based on the findings of the Marine UXO Risk Assessment for your project, 1st Line Defence will further consider the UXO risk in relation to the specific site works within the project area, the recommend methods to be employed and the types of assets and equipment required.

The Risk Mitigation Strategy will determine and identify strategic options we recommend to be implemented in order to reduce the UXO risk to ‘As Low As Reasonably Practicable’ (ALARP).

We will provide clients with the correct and appropriate means to make sure the balance of costs to manage the UXO risk are proportionate to the levels and scale of UXO risk across the project site location, and to make sure the ALARP principle has been sufficiently satisfied.

Project Management & Delivery>
Industrial excavator on a platform at sea Image showing a Industrial excavator on a platform at sea

1st Line Defence can provide specialist Project Managers or full Project Management Teams to oversee a wide-range of projects.

All Project Managers we appoint have vast experience working in marine environments and hold the necessary qualifications needed to assist with your project – we can support you throughout the entire process from start-to-finish.

The provision of Project Managers and project staff is not limited to UXO project management only.

Seconded Consultancy & Peer-to-peer Review>

We can provide senior UXO Project Managers to join a client Project Management Team to make sure there’s a smooth integration of all UXO mitigation activities within the intended work plan.

This may involve developing documentation, reviewing methodologies to better improve work flows, vetting of contractors and looking for ways to improve the overall efficiencies of the planned works.

Provision of Client Representatives>

1st Line Defence can provide qualified and experienced personnel to act as Client Representatives to oversee the delivery of services and operations, create documentation to the clients’ requirements and obtain the necessary quality standards of contractors.

Reporting & Documentation Provision>

We can provide highly technically competent project staff to assist clients with developing project documentation during the planning and preparation phase of works.

1st Line Defence work together with clients to fully understand their objectives and obligations, this allows us to integrate with the project team and better understand the processes that need to be negated to assist with a successful project delivery.

ALARP Certification>

In order to provide evidence of the risk management process, 1st Line Defence can provide certification to project stakeholders and contractors to highlight that the UXO risk has been mitigated to a legally acceptable level (ALARP).

The ALARP Certificate is a comprehensive document that is geo-referenced to a specific location / area, and documents that a complete technical and quality review of all associated information and data has been undertaken.

The Certificate is underwritten by our external Professional Indemnity Insurance provider.

Quality Assurance & Quality Control>

1st Line Defence have developed a QA / QC management system which encompasses all aspects of our Marine UXO Services and Operations.

This provides the blueprint for planning, assigning, monitoring / reviewing and auditing all aspects of project delivery, and to make sure that the standards and requirements of all outputs within the varying phases of work are adhered to.

Specialist Marine UXO Services

Geophysical Non-intrusive Survey>
Water pipe fixed to the bottom of the seabed Image showing a water pipe fixed to the bottom of the seabed

In locations around the world that have environmental and climatic complexities, we can provide professional geophysical surveying services supported by experienced in-house professionals.

Geophysical surveys are an innovative, state-of-the-art ground investigation technique used to identify any unusual characteristics in the subsurface to locate buried targets – including items of UXO.

1st Line Defence provide a wide-range of geophysical non-intrusive surveys to mitigate the risk posed from UXO to provide ALARP sign-off for your project.

The survey specification we recommend will be suitable for the detection of UXO threat, and additional survey techniques can also be included within the specification of the geophysical survey to provide additional value to your project.

As standard, we provide consultation for potential clients from the initial design stage, through to post-report discussion and ALARP sign off.

Follow the link to see a full list of geophysical survey services available – download Capability Statement for Marine UXO Services

Geophysical Intrusive Survey>

If Geophysical non-intrusive survey methods cannot provide clearance to full bomb penetration depth, intrusive survey techniques can also be deployed.

This may include hydraulic push or drilling methods to insert magnetometer probes into the underlying strata to survey columns of ground which will provide clearance from UXO, allowing clients to undertake intrusive works such as piling or drilling in certified cleared locations with confidence.

We can also provide independent supervision and verification of surrogate target trials – also referred to as ‘Survey Verification Testing’ – as part of the project specification.

This may include the provision of surrogate targets with similar physical characteristics to the types of UXO identified as a threat within the project site location.

Interpretation & Data processing >

1st Line Defence provide experienced UXO Geophysicists to carry out processing and interpretation services, of client provided raw or post-processed data, available in a variety of data formats.

Our experienced UXO Geophysicists supported by our technical EOD specialists, use the geophysical survey data to correlate information and to determine which anomalies model as potential UXO.

We will utilise all available data in order to reduce false positive recordings within the potential UXO master target listings, and provide our clients with options for safe recovery, disposal and clearance where required.

1st Line Defence can provide UXO Geophysicist and EOD specialists to work from our head office, clients project offices or offshore project locations across the UK and Internationally.

Investigation & Clearance>
ROV undertaking a UXO Survey at sea Image showing a ROV undertaking a UXO Survey at sea

1st Line Defence provides a complete UXO risk mitigation solution for marine projects across the UK and Internationally.

We combine our in-house geo-services with our insights and experience of working in challenging marine environments, to offer an integrated survey, identification and clearance solution that manages the risk posed by UXO – and provide ALARP clearance.

We can provide highly-qualified and experienced EOD & Target Investigation Teams (onshore and offshore) to conduct investigation and clearance operations – either as a standalone service as the project lead – or by integrating our specialists within an already established project team to provide dedicated UXO support to the project.

Clearance solutions may include or require a ROV, diver, dredging or land based teams – and we can support a wide-range of projects including: offshore, near-shore, within waterways, ports, harbours, rivers or on land.

Recovery & Disposal>
UXO Disposal operation of a Sea Mine in the Ocean Image showing a UXO Disposal operation of a Sea Mine in the Ocean

We employ highly experienced project management and EOD specialist teams to conduct recovery, disposal and clearance operations.

Explosive techniques using high and low order methods have been developed over many years to make sure that we have the capability to dispose of UXO safely, and to minimise risk to the environment.

  • Techniques may include the recovery, storage and final disposal of UXO located offshore, and recovered to land for transportation and disposal.
  • The recovery and relocation of UXO offshore for disposal at sea – this method is often required if UXO is within close proximity of subsea assets such as pipes, submarine cables etc.
  • Disposal in-situ – the use of explosive means to destroy UXO on the seabed. This operation might be completed by high or low explosive methods, and is dependent on the environment and any other constraints that might be present.

Disposal operations may be conducted as a response to an immediate client request or as a deliberately planned operation.

In all cases; planning, safety and environmental mitigation are the corner stone of every 1st Line Defence recovery, disposal and clearance operation.

Environmental Mitigation>
Mammal swimming in the open sea Image showing a mammal swimming in the open sea

1st Line Defence are passionate about reducing the environmental impact on marine wildlife from UXO risk mitigation operations, and employs in-house environmental consultants to assess and develop appropriate environmental assessments and plans – to better understand and minimise the impact caused by offshore activities.

This may include Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs), Environmental Monitoring & Mitigation Strategies (EMMS) – which are developed to manage the risks posed by subsea detonations of UXO, and / or other construction type activities.

Additionally, we can also deploy Environmental Monitoring & Mitigation strategies during operations or throughout the project life cycle.

Do I need Marine UXO Support?

Delays to any marine construction or development project can waste valuable time and money, and ignoring the risks posed by UXO being present within a project area can potentially put personnel, assets, equipment and the environment at risk.

We encourage you to discuss your requirements at the earliest possible opportunity so that we can better understand your project, identify if there are any potential risks and advise you on the steps to mitigate the risk if one is present.

If UXO mitigation is recommended for your project we can manage that risk for you, across the UK or Internationally – working in accordance to CIRIA C754 Guidelines.

Useful links & Information

Looking for Marine UXO Services? Not sure what service you need?

Contact us and our experienced Sales Team will help and guide you through the process.

Call: +44 (0) 1992 245020 or Email: info@1stlinedefence.co.uk

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