Mast Removal

SS Richard Montgomery Mast Removal

The UK Government first announced the shipwreck’s three masts would be removed in 2021 attracting worldwide interest in the story.

The reason for the removal of the masts is to reduce the risk posed if they were to collapse onto the cargo below as their condition continues to deteriorate.

An unofficial timeline of events is given below:


No official date for the mast cutting operation has been given.


Department for Transport (DfT) announced on June 2023, they were re-thinking their approach to the mast cutting operation. 18 objects on the seabed had been identified, which could pose a risk to the legs and feet of a jack-up-platform being installed adjacent to the wreck. Therefore, more time was required to consider alternative plans and no mast cutting would take place until after 2023.


Preparatory work was undertaken in Autumn 2022, which included detailed surveys of the wreck, seabed and surrounding area.

It’s believed the operation could take two months. The mast cutting operation was postponed until Spring 2023.


Mast removal first announced.

An Expert Advisory Group recommended SS Richard Montgomery’s masts be removed to decrease strain placed on the deck plating supporting their weight and remove the risk of them collapsing onto the cargo hold.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) announced that the three masts would be removed in Summer 2022.