Harbour dredging

Peter Volsteedt,
Gordon’s Bay

The main problem of rapid silting up or sandbar build-up at the harbour mouth or entrance is due to the area being comparatively shallow.

Dredging the sand upstream of the prevailing current and to the seaward side of the breakwater, virtually recycles the sand which is naturally moved back to the harbour entrance by heavy wave action. 

During a north westerly storm, the pounding of the waves against the breakwater forms a slurry with the sand, which in turn is moved, like a mud rush, by the riptide current along the seaward side of the wall to the entrance, where the sand settles in the calm on the leeward side, building up the sandbar yet again.

Surely those in charge of the dredging operations should realise that pumping the sand downstream of the prevailing current would be the answer to keeping the sandbar under control and the harbour mouth open?

When the harbour fell under Railways and Harbours in former years, the sand was moved downstream.

The present operations are again taxpayers money being spent on a lost cause, it is a case of either having a man-made beach at the expense of the harbour and dredging operations on an annual scale.