Boom Time for Sea Cadets Thanks to Gas People

Posted: Tuesday 5th April 2011
Blog: News

5th July 2009

The waterside slipway around Gateshead’s Sea Cadet HQ on Pipewellgate is a lot cleaner and safer today after engineers from gas companies Northern Gas Networks and United Utilities constructed a floating boom to protect the boat launching area from unwanted river debris.

The mercy mission to protect the historic slipway followed a recent clean up event by the Clean Tyne Project; a partnership between the Port of Tyne, SITA Trust and the river’s bordering council authorities of Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside and Newcastle. Just days after the last clean up event, floating debris had accumulated back onto the slipway making it unsafe for the Sea Cadets from TS Flamingo to use.

A team of gas engineers were only too eager to help by planning and building a floating boom from yellow gas pipe. The boom acts as a gate and floats up and down with the tide preventing large debris from entering the slipway area.

Richard Dawson, Network Officer for United Utilities was delighted to help such a worthwhile cause. “The work that the Sea Cadets do with young people is very important,” said Richard. “This has been a great teambuilding and planning exercise for us. We had to use our engineering skills to work out how we could get the structure to float up and down with the tide and we had to ensure that it was easily opened so that the Cadets could bring in their boats.”

Commanding Officer of TS Flamingo CPO (SCC) Lesley Somerville said,

“We are very grateful for the support we have received from United Utilities, keeping the slipway clear is important for the safety of our Cadets and also for when we are handling our boats.”


Co-ordinator for the Clean Tyne Project, Stuart Norman of Gateshead Council, explained that the boom would help keep the riverside free of rubbish. “This boom will help keep debris off the riverbank so that our debris collection vessel, The Clearwater can collect it from the river. Clearwater picks up tonnes of rubbish from the river and its banks every week, helping to make the Tyne one of the cleanest rivers in the UK.” 


United Utilities looks after the region’s 37,000km system of gas mains on behalf of Northern Gas Networks who deliver supplies to around 2.5 million consumers in the North East, Yorkshire and northern Cumbria. Anyone smelling gas is urged to call the National Gas Emergency Service immediately on 0800 111 999. The service operates 24 hours every day of the year and is completely free.