Storm Damage

On the night of Monday 11th March into Tuesday morning Swanage Pier sustained major damage as the high tide and raging sea tore through the Victorian structure.

North easterly winds reached force 8 to 9 on Monday night and with a high tide an external pile was torn off the Pier placing the mid-section walkway in imminent danger of collapse.

Thanks to the swift action of the pier contractor and piling contractor, who were working on another part of the Pier at the time, it was possible to make the area safe in the short term.



1) Team of volunteers are trained to document, remove and restore plaques

Team of volunteers Setting up the template Using a specialist routing tool



2) Process of Repair

Storm Damaged Decking is removed to prevent further structural damage and a steel cross beam is fitted to provide temporary support  
20th August 2013 - Divers excavate approx. 1 metre around the base of the broken pile and prepare to extract  
The chain is fitted to the pile at low tide and secured to the barge and the wait begins  
Approximately 1½ hours later, as the tide rises the barge slowly lifts and extracts the pile  
The last time this pile saw the light of day was when the Victorians drove it into the seabed  
Over 100 years old!  
Using a special cradle, the new 16 metre greenheart pile is lifted carefully into position.  
Correct positioning and alignment is critical at this stage because a mistake will affect the repair outcome.  
Prior to placing the hammer a metal cap is fitted to the top of the pile to stop it splitting while its driven into the seabed  
At 11.55am on 27th August 2013 the pile was driven for approximately 1.5 hours 6 metres into the seabed.  
Once the pile was in place new Transoms (cross beams supporting the deck beams) were installed and cut to size; the diagonal cross bracing and edge stringer beams were installed.  
The ‘L’ shaped edge kerb beams are installed above the edge stringers.  
100 sections of ‘Opepe’ decking are laid across ½ the width of the walkway.  
‘Opepe’ decking is a yellow colour when new and it weathers to a light grey, replacing the old mahogany decking. It is sourced from sustainable forests in West Africa.  
Once the new decking was installed the handrails and plaques were put back in place  
This section work was completed by Friday 20th September 2013. Additional agreed works to span the remaining width of the walkway with new decking beams and timbers were completed on 25th November 2013.