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Estuary access restricted by dredge


Dredge mussel buoys pic-752Access in the estuary opposite Bullet Point may be restricted at low tide by dredging operations for five or six weeks, according to the Mangawhai Harbour Restoration Society.

Society chairman Trevor Downey says that because of the strong current opposite Bullet Point, where dredging operations are taking place, the dredge waste pipe has floatation devices between the dredge and the Spit, blocking access.

“When travelling up the harbour boaties must keep to the starboard side of the dredge. When boating down the harbour towards the entrance, boaties must keep to the port side,” he said.

“At low tide, access down the estuary could be difficult for some vessels, but there should be enough water at high tide. However it is up to all boaties to check water depths at all times.

Mr Downey said that a survey of the harbour in February last year showed that a 5 metre by 10 metre sand bar had developed between Bullet Point and the Sand Spit, meaning access through the area at high tide was a shallow as about 1 metre or less.

“It is critical this sand trap is removed so the dredge will be active over this sand build up for about six weeks,“ he said.

“In that period the dredge waste pipe will be kept afloat between the dredge and the spit by a series of 22 floatation devices, known as mussel buoys. This will block the estuary between the dredge and the spit during the dredging of the area.”

The dredge waste pipe will be lit by solar lights at night so it can be seen from the water.

Signage warning boaties of the dredging hazard has been placed in four locations; at the Alamar Crescent boat ramp, at the ramp at the bottom of North Ave, at the

Lincoln St Reserve, and at an area used as a launching ramp mid-way down Lincoln St.

The signs read: Caution, Dredge Operating in Channel. Restricted Channel Access.

Boaties or others seeking clarification or further information should contact Mr Downey, who is also the Harbour Warden, on 027 432 8774.

WARNING: The dredge waste pipe with the mussel buoys attached to keep it afloat, and visible, while dredging opposite Bullet Point.

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