A HAMPSHIRE ship repair service is taking the plunge with a new diving venture.

Southampton Marine Services (SMS) has partnered with a mechanical and electrical expert Mechanica Utilities, to provide diving services and sub-surface engineering support to major utilities companies and their sub-contractors.

SMS has built a reputation as specialists in ship repair, marine engineering and major fabrication projects in the commercial marine, defence and superyachts sectors.

John Webb, head of diving and the general manager at SMS’s Dover facility, said: “This partnership comes on the back of some fairly unique diving and sub-surface engineering projects.

“We’ve supported major works at Dungeness, major works in Ramsgate, and numerous projects for the likes of Veolia and various cross-Channel operators.”

He added: “Specifically with regards to the utilities sector we’ve direct experience of tank inspections, outfall inspections, value renewals, pure water and black water diving, penstock and culvert inspections and surveys, eel screen inspections, and civil support works.”

James Horsham, managing director of Doverbased Mechancia Utilities, said: ““We’re often asked if we can support diving or sub-surface works and with our newly formed alliance with SMS the answer is now ‘yes’.

“Many of our customers demand turn-key, all-encompassing solutions so to bring both diving and underwater engineering under one roof is a great place for Mechancia to be.”

Back above the surface SMS, based at Ocean Quay in Belvidere Road, has won contracts for three major mechanical refits. The firm is currently, simultaneously, undertaking several overhauls on Stork-Wartsila FHD 240 engines, Ruston RK27 engines and Scania D12 generators for clients.

The company has also recruited Dan Lockyer as outfit manager.