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Drogheda Harbour Pilot Captain Says ‘We All Underestimated’ Underwater Clearance

27th March 2021
Matters of Draught: At the High Court, Arklow Shipping claims it cannot operate in any port without reliable information about depth, readings of which it says should be taken on a daily basis. Above: Arklow Valour in the company colours of a green hull of the single-hold cargoship. Matters of Draught: At the High Court, Arklow Shipping claims it cannot operate in any port without reliable information about depth, readings of which it says should be taken on a daily basis. Above: Arklow Valour in the company colours of a green hull of the single-hold cargoship. Credit: ScotlandDX-twitter

A Drogheda Harbour pilot boat captain has told the High Court “we all underestimated” the underwater clearance a cement-laden cargoship needed before it ran aground at the Co. Louth port in 2018.

Captain Andrew Breach was giving evidence in a €1.4 million action by Arklow Shipping Group which claims Drogheda Port Company authorities were negligent in the information provided about the harbour depth on the day of the incident on December 13th, 2018. Drogheda Port denies the claim.

Arklow Shipping claims it cannot operate in any port without reliable information about depth, readings of which it says should be taken on a daily basis. Drogheda harbour can require regular dredging, the court heard.

Following the grounding, the 4,000 tonne-plus cargo of cement was removed from the Arklow Valour (launched in 2016) the next day. The cargoship was later refloated and sent for repairs in Swansea, Wales.

The Irish Times has more on the story.

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

About The Author

Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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