The ‘Little Mermaid’ continues it’s journey

It’s been an incredible year for the world-first underwater excavator, aptly named The Little Mermaid, and it’s only just the beginning of its journey.

Pioneered by Osborne and its partners at Suttle Projects, the innovative Little Mermaid is set to face the judges, along with other finalists, at next month’s British Construction Industry Awards in the Product Design Innovation Award  for Civil Engineering.

Currently, the underwater excavator is bringing great benefits to a scheme in Feltham, Middlesex, where Osborne is working on behalf of Network Rail. The Little Mermaid is removing silt from the bottom of the riverbed beneath the rail line in a way that reduces its environmental impact.

The Little Mermaid’s innovative methods have not escaped the notice of Thames Water, with Senior Engineer, Richard Hulley, on a recent site visit, explaining:  “It’s been really interesting to see The Little Mermaid put into practice. I hope that other engineering firms, along with their supply chain partners, move forward with similar methods as the industry looks to continually drive efficiencies in safety and protecting the environment.”

Joe Paine, Director for Suttles Projects added:  “Since we built the Little Mermaid, the equipment has been put to use in critical rail-over-river scour protection projects, working in conjunction with Osborne.  Its lower height and remote control functionality mean that the equipment is able to excavate in areas of restricted access, as well as underwater, which has attracted a lot of interest from other parties. Their varying list of proposed applications suggests they can see many benefits in this world-first!”