Safe navigation rapidly restored at Warrenpoint Harbour, NI

Monitoring surveys carried out by the Port during the summer identified an elevated accumulation of material in the centre of the turning basin which resulted in a draft restriction being placed on all vessels. This restriction resulted in significant disruption to the Port and its clients. Attempts were made to relocate that material using firstly a small local plough and then a larger plough vessel but the material proved to be too resistant to movement.

Investigations were carried out using side-scan sonar and physical sampling which showed the material to be gravel and cobbles which had been thrown up by vessels manoeuvring in the turning circle. ADBP prepared contract documentation for the dredging of the material and also submitted an application for a dredging disposal licence to DOENI. Following the competitive tender the contract was awarded to Peter Madsen Rederi A/S.

The exceptional low spring tides of 28-29/09/2015 meant that the available water depths had to be improved quickly to prevent even greater disruption to Port operations. Dredging commenced with the Backhoe Hopper vessel ‘Grete Fighter’ on 24/09/2015 and sufficient material was removed by the 28/09/2015 to restore safe navigation, albeit with some minor restriction remaining. The complete removal of the accumulated material was completed by 6/10/2015. ADBP supervised the successful site operation throughout the works.