“Baaaaaaaarp!” The Maltese tanker administered several long single hoots – indicating to the pleasure cruisers ahead of her that she would keep to the starboard side of the narrow channel off Penarth

Restricted locking-operations caused by low river flows, coinciding with a dredging campaign to clear the approach channels of silt has been causing  some complications for mariners off Penarth this weekend

This afternoon the Maltese registered oil/chemical tanker Atlantis Antalya was to be heard emitting several long loud toots on her ship’s horn to try to persuade pleasure cruisers waiting outside the Outer Harbour of Cardiff Barrage move out of her way as they were blocking the fairway into Cardiff Docks.

A ship’s officer on the Maltese tanker makes sure there are no other pleasure vessels in the way

Where there’s muck there’s brass: The Dutch suction dredger with the Welsh name – “Sospan Dau” is said to get paid according to the total weight of mud she manages to remove from the Outer Harbour. But while she’s at work yachts and pleasure boats have to keep out of her way (Photo John Clark)

The cruisers were apparently dawdling outside the Outer Harbour because the large dredger “Sospan Dau” was busy at work inside the harbour sucking up tons of mud and silt from the sea bed .

Sospan Dau is a ” Trailing Suction Hopper Dredger (TSHD)” which yesterday began the latest of her regular 6-monthly dredging campaigns  to remove a build-up of mud /sand within the Inner harbour and dredge the approach channel entrance.

Tioga B and her steel scoop reaches the parts Sospan Dau can’t get to

Sospan is being augmented by the tug Tioga B which is employing a steel scraper, or scoop, on the sea bed to get to the hard-to reach parts of the harbour bed and dump mud where the dredger can reach it.

All the mud is then sucked up and dumped out at sea on the spoil grounds. Computerised readings provide the weight of the material removed for a charge to be levied.


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  1. Old Sea Dog says:

    Some boat owners really have no clue about maritime rules and safety.

    Endless hours watching them in and out of the lock.

  2. Cogan nomen says:

    I was sat in the kitchen ,
    Yet knew ( hearing the blast twice )
    That some punter was hindering
    The progress of a ship .
    Nice to be proven right .

  3. What was that? says:

    Interesting article!!

    I heard the horn from my garden in Plymouth Road and was wondering what was going on.

  4. Louiseholistic says:

    Where was Barrage control?

    • Old Sea Dog says:

      Barrage Control has no authority to control vessels in the shipping channel to Cardiff Docks, but they were clearly warning vessels of the dredging operations and to keep clear.

      There are also clesr light signals on the harbour wall but having observed some of the idiots heading in and out of the bay today, I don’t imagine some of them would know what they meant. Shocking lack of common sense, seamanship and maritime safety. Some are unaware how to tie their boats in the lock, or even which side of the channel to drive on.

  5. snoggerdog says:

    does anybody know who pays the dutch mudsucker for their work is it A.B.P.&if it is why havnt they been vocal about the gift of hinckley mud coming over to us, im a simple sole(sorry) but even i have managed to work out —-more mud more dredging/sucking more to pay the dutch firm. i cant see hinckley volunteering to pay the extra costs or is this business as murky as the waters off penarth ?

  6. snoggerdog says:

    avast there capn horatio how can you sail a sail less boat ?

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