Questions posed over dredger inactivity

'˜Why isn't the dredger dredging?' '“ that's the question posed by the Fight4Whitby group, who have raised concerns about the vessel's apparent lack of activity.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 7:48 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:52 am
Parked up: Questions have been asked about why the dredger isn't doing more work. Picture: Ceri Oakes

The dredger first went out of action in May last year after being damaged undertaking work at another harbour, but returned at the start of this year after undergoing modifications set to

improve its capability.

But two months on, questions are being asked about why the vessel is parked up so often, rather than addressing the silt backlog.

Spokesman for the group, John Freeman, said they are concerned about how little work it appears to be doing.

Concerns were also raised at the most recent Whitby Town Council meeting.

Speaking during the public participation session at the most recent full council meeting, Niall Carson said: “How much dredging has the dredger done since it finally got back?

“I get the impression it’s spending a lot of time tied up. I wonder if there’s some kind of problem with it. There’s a backlog of something like 40,000 tonnes of sand and silt that it didn’t get out last year.”

The Gazette asked the borough council if the dredger has a work schedule and for a comment on concerns over its lack of activity, but received no response.

After breaking down last year the dredger was sent to Hull where it underwent repairs and modifications.

This involved converting the dredger’s two sections into just one single vessel.

Cllr Mike Cockerill, the borough cabinet member for harbours and flood protection, told the Gazette in late 2016 that the modifications would make the dregder more maneuverable and give it a better reach capability.

Tests were completed to agree on a load line and ensure the dredger is stable.