Murray River Ferry ‘Water Hen’

The problem 

The size and location of the ferry meant this was always going to be tricky job. We needed to prevent any debris escaping the work area and contaminating the surrounding environment, in particular the Murray River.

The solution

Scaffolding was set-up around the perimeter of the ferry which was then covered with heavy duty monoflex fabric. Once the containment was secured, the Swart-owned 42,000cfm dust collector was positioned to capture all debris from the containment.

The result

The setup of the containment and dust collector was successful in preventing any debris from escaping the work area and entering the surrounding environment including the Murray River.

Project details:
The project scope 

After completing abrasive blasting and DPTI works, it was time to carry out the painting. The majority of the work involved using a two-component, polyamine‑cured, epoxy mastic system whilst a few other areas, due to their nature, required an additional top coat to keep them in optimum condition. Before every full coat, a stripe coat was carried out to all the difficult to reach areas of the ferry to ensure the required thicknesses were achieved. A representative of the paint manufacturer inspected the work as it was being carried out, to verify the surface preparation and coating application was to specification. After each component of the systems was applied DFT readings were recorded to ensure the coatings had been applied in line with the specification provided by both DPTI and the manufacturer.

Working in high risk conditions  

This project was carried out over summer when temperatures rose to over 40˚C. Worker safety was paramount at all times, especially when working in containment and the interior of the ferry. When in the containment, all workers wore air‑fed blast helmets and face masks. When required, the air lines to workers were cooled down to ensure their wellbeing. A spotter was located outside the containment at all times to ensure worker and environmental safety. Even through these tough conditions, the work was completed on time and on budget.

Setting up blasting equipment, dust collector and garnet recovery system to ensure works are carried out without harm to the environment

Scaffolding and containment in place showing ducting connected to dust collector to capture all debris from the work

Ferry hull having final top coat applied after all preparation works, including abrasive blasting and priming coats

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To learn more about this story call Mark O'Brien on 0418 814 538 or send an email to