Re: Possible solution ... may not be practical

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Posted by Ken Kurtis on November 11, 2009 at 21:46:53:

In Reply to: Possible solution ... may not be practical posted by Jon on November 11, 2009 at 20:51:28:

Jon wrote: "One possible solution would be to set up moorings on the high spots with large eye bolts cemented to the reef . . . Just a thought ... may not be a practical to implement or manage though."

Biggest problem is it won't be strong enough to hold the bigger dive boats. If there's any kind of a wind or current, there's a tremendous strain put on that line.

Putting moorings at Farnsworth is something that's been bandied about and studied for almost two decades. Jon Hardy even had a study commissioned (I think) some 15 years ago and concluded it couldn't be reasonably done. (Note the key word: reasonably.).

Biggest obstacles are engineering and diver safety. If you put down a mooring block big enough to hold the dive boats (the Great Escape is 95 tons) you have to destroy the part of the reef you're trying to save to secure the mooring.

If you put the mooring buoy off the high spot in deep water (generally a sandy non-hydrocoral bottom), now you have a safety issue as divers have to swim to the high spot and drop on to it. And even if you have a buoy line as you suggest marking it, you now don't really have an adequate line for a boatload of divers to do a safety stop at the end of the dive. And we won't even talk about what happens if a current comes up or the wind changes and the boat swings 180コ.

And after we solve those problems, we need to deal with the issues of:
1. Who pays for the moorings and installation?
2. Who maintains?
3. Does it need to be lighted (USCG will say likely yes)?
4. How do you enforce?
5. What are the liability concerns if a mooring breaks free?
6. How many do you need?

And I'm sure there are other questions that will arise.

Because of Farnsworth's off-shore remote location and because of the deepness of the water, it presents a unique set of challenges that no other mooring system in the world that I know of has had to deal with. That's why step 1 in this is a feasibility study.

- Ken
Ken Kurtis
Owner, Reef Seekers Dive Co.
Beverly Hills, CA

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