Diver's Delight as Scour Prevention Idea Scoops Innovation Award
February 26, 2011
During 30 years as a commercial diver Bob Durrant was often intrigued by the impact discarded car tyres had on the seabed.
So instead of retiring, he launched a company to investigate whether linked tyres could prevent sand scouring which causes problems for turbines, cables and other subsea structures.
Now Bob is celebrating the success of Scour Prevention Systems winning the EEEGR Energy Innovation Awards - with his patented idea about to be given on-site trials by international energy company E.ON.
'We first talked about the idea eight years ago but didn't start the company, at Lowestoft's OrbisEnergy Centre, until two years ago,' said Bob. 'We've been testing our SPS solution ever since. Winning the award is out of this world; it's the pinnacle of everything.
'I'm 69 now and had put off retiring to get this off the ground - I can take it a little easier now that it has been recognised.'
He thanked EEEGR (the East of England Energy Group) for its encouragement and praised the three other members of his company - his son and fellow diver Richard, engineering specialist David Watson and sales and marketing director Mark Aspinall, for their support.
E.ON tests should begin at the end of April on the device which links car tyres to form a mat to rest on the seabed and fill with sand. It forms an inert protective 'skin' over the seabed which is too light to sink and which he believes will eliminate scour.