Thrash hunters: the importance of a dirty job

Recently we have seen a booming of new yacht design and concept to lower our impact on oceans. That is a solution to avoid ocean pollution for the future, but what about the damage we already done? Plastic and Ocean debrils in general have been always a problemfor navigation creating issues for safety and environment, that led to creation of a specific breed of vessel dedicated to collecting floating garbage.

These Thrash hunters or Debril skimmers boats easily retrieve a wide variety of manmade and organic floating debris from the waterway. Such activities are often undertaken regularly where floating debris poses danger to navigation. For example, the US Army Corps of Engineers reports removing 90 tons of "drifting material" from San Francisco Bay every month. The Corps has been doing this work since 1942, when a seaplane carrying Admiral Chester W. Nimitz collided with a piece of floating debris and sank, costing the life of its pilot.

Usually built with twin catamaran hulls, Trash Hunters easily retrieve a wide variety of manmade and organic floating debris including liter, old tires, leaves, timber ted for safety reason and is some cases recently in oil recovery operations for environmental purposes.
Among these ocean cleaning vessels we have now seen a progress in its design and characteristics by the use of recycled material for it construction and renewable energy for its propulsion.

It's the case of the Pelikan: Pelikan is an ecological workboat with the hull built almost completely in stainless steel AISI 316 (corrosion proof) and upper structures in light alloy type 5083.
This boat has been conceived for the collection of floating and semi-submerged waste by using suction, that then come stored in an extractable container. Furthermore, the unit is also prepared for the suction of small oily spills from any water surfaces that are then stocked in an appropriate tank.

Hull’s both sides are arranged for the depollution of small surface spots, by dispensing of a specific liquid "dispersant“, sprayed from jets placed on the two PTZ rotating arms (pan tilt). In addition, there is a system for the oxygenation of surface waters.
The air-conditioned cockpit, is completely made in alluminium alloy and equipped with a photovoltaic panels system for on-board services and  more than 220.000 cans for beverages were used for the production of all alluminum parts of the vessel.

All installations are hydraulically operated and using special biodegradable oil of next-generation, the Matrol-Bi, patented by Novamont Spa.

Garbage Service srl who built Pelikan in collaboration with CPN shipyard of Ancona is operating in foreign markets, in the Adriatic-Ionian Macroregion, particularly in Croatia, where it exports not only its services, but also the know-how and technology.

On the bigger scale the problem is more vast and complex but for a young student named Boyan Slat the solution can be easier than we could expect. Even if the researchers declare that they are still in a feasibility phase the projects numbers and goals are amazing: Clean the Pacific Garbage Patch (7.250.000.000 Kg of plastic) in just 5 years.

Watch Boyan's Ted x full video presentation here.

This Ocean Clean up system will take advantage of the Gyro currents presents in the oceans that actually cause the debrils to accumulate particullary in those areas and suggest that the solution is fix the processor to the sea bed and let the plastic and water move through by letting it trap plastic by its own movement and without emissions.

This Manta ray shaped prototype makes a smart use of boom instead of nets to cover wider areas without trapping any planktonic species that will flow under the booms.These booms act as giant 'funnels', where an angle of the booms create a component of the surface current force in the direction of the platforms.
The debris then enters the platforms, where it will be filtered out of the water, and eventually stored in containers until collected for recycling on land.

The platform swill have to be completely self supportive receiving their energy from sun, currents and waves and plus with all the plastic retrieved form the 5 gyres they would make more money than the actual execute cost of the plan.

So its not only a great solution but it is potentially profitable.

We really hope his dream will become true and maybe this is the first step to involve yachting into plastic and debris recovery with some smaller plastic traps to be used on your yacht?

If our Oceans are in danger we are the only ones to blame maybe its time we all do our part in restoring it and protect our endangered foodchain so compromised by plastic pollution.

For more info please click here and to get involved give your help here.

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