BRINGING VIOLA HOME: Spring Survey to South Georgia Postponed

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BRINGING VIOLA HOME: Spring Survey to South Georgia Postponed

The COVID-19 effect can be felt, not just at the centres of human population, but also at the ends of the earth. The sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia is no exception. A team from Solis Marine was about to be dispatched there in April, via the Falkland Islands, to carry out surveys on some of the abandoned vessels including the VIOLA in order to monitor their condition and rate of decay.

We are sad to have to report that the visit can no longer take place due to the risk of the coronavirus possibly travelling there as well.

The co-founders of Solis Marine have been involved for many years with the charitable Trust (VIOLA Trust) that is raising funds for the return of the 1906 built Hull steam trawler VIOLA from her berth at Grytviken South in Georgia.

That work included a 2016 expedition to assess the condition of VIOLA and to determine, as far as possible, whether she can survive the salvage and voyage back her to her home port of Hull in the UK. A new berth in the city awaits her arrival more than 100 years since she last sailed from the port.

As the necessary documentation is being prepared, including the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and operational planning, it will be necessary to carry out a final feasibility survey. That will include a dive around the underwater hull, so that any further deterioration can be assessed and considered.

With the austral summer rapidly turning into winter, the planned trip will now be postponed until the October/November spring.

Everyone at Solis Marine is very much looking forward to the possibility of our team travelling back to the island and completing their task. All that then remains is to prepare for the salvage operations and wait for the final words “Go get her and bring her back home.”

Until then, our website will continue to provide project updates whenever they are available.

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