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D-drill provides drilling for lighthouse refurbishment
Two diamond drill operators have sailed into their company’s history books following a major project at a tower in the Solent.

Dean Gough and Liam Berry, of D-Drill’s Alton office, drilled 46 holes in a single day at the NAB Tower in the Solent on behalf of main contractor BAM Nuttall.

The job, part of a refurbishment of the tower – which was originally erected just after World War I, was twice rescheduled due to poor weather conditions.

The tower, which is now used as a lighthouse, is situated ten nautical miles from shore and has a water depth of 20m below – making it a treacherous job just to get the equipment in place.

The operators needed two drill rigs and two petrol power generators that had to be manually lifted across to the tower following a boat journey across from Gosport.

They then worked through from 5am to 9pm in order to ensure each of the 46 holes – of varying sizes – were all completed in a single day to avoid having to make the journey again.

The holes included four 200mm diameter by 400mm depth and six 107mm to form an opening 250mm x 210mm. A further 36 14mm fixing holes were rotary percussive drilled.

John Barber, D-Drill branch manager, said: “The complication here was not the holes we had to drill but the access to the location and the fact that we had to get everything over there and off again in day – including drills, generators, the men and their lunch!

“Of course, we had to follow very strict health and safety procedures from wearing life jackets on the journey across to twice postponing the job because of the conditions.

“It’s a historic tower that began life just after World War I and was then also used in World War II, providing defence for the Solent during that time.

“Our team always looks forward to a challenge and this job very much provided that and was yet another example of how we work on a whole range of conditions and environments – and ensure we get the job done.”

A spokesperson for BAM Nuttall, Jonathon Pitt, said: “The NAB Tower was a very challenging project taking two-and-a-half years to complete due to the weather dictating our daily ‘commute’.

“The last job was to fit ventilation ducts through the concrete wall and upper deck. We needed a local, reliable diamond driller who didn’t mind getting their feet wet and D-Drill delivered.”