Electricity firm uses helicopter in Seaton power network upgrade

PUBLISHED: 11:00 23 September 2018 | UPDATED: 16:38 25 September 2018

The team and helicopter working to remove the poles at the nature reserve. Picture: Mark Passmore, Apex.

The team and helicopter working to remove the poles at the nature reserve. Picture: Mark Passmore, Apex.

APEX NEWS AND PICTURES

“Exciting” operation to remove old electricity poles by helicopter, before burying cables underground.

A helicopter took to the skies above Seaton Wetlands in a dramatic operation which was part of work to upgrade the town’s electricity supply network.

Western Power Distribution needed to remove six ageing electricity poles from the wetlands.

The poles could not be felled because the islands they were installed upon were too small, and there would be a pollution risk from the creosote on the poles if they got into the water.

Instead, an engineer climbed up each pole as the helicopter hovered overhead, and attached a rope dangling from the chopper to the top of the pole.

Back at ground level, the poles were freed from their mountings, and lifted off by the helicopter.

The work, which cost £90,000, also involved WPD’s team of flood water rescue boat operators, based at Crewkerne. They were brought in to access the poles, which had been installed on islands within the wetlands.

“It was a really good operation, and quite exciting,” said Larry Mills, the technician in charge.

Around a kilometre of formerly overhead cabling has now been buried underground, around a saltwater lagoon and across marshland.

The work will further safeguard power supplies for 1,638 customers as well as making access to the nature reserve easier, and improving its appearance.

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