Dredging project at harbour

Northumberland Gazette and Morpeth Herald 2012 Calendar. Pictures by Jane Coltman.' Seahouses Harbour
Northumberland Gazette and Morpeth Herald 2012 Calendar. Pictures by Jane Coltman.' Seahouses Harbour

Vital dredging work has been carried out in Seahouses harbour to ensure it remains navigable for fishing and leisure boats.

Diggers and trucks took advantage of low spring tides to get the work done over four days last week.

Captain Philip Brabban, harbourmaster, said: “If we stopped dredging, the silt and sand would build up and the harbour would be unnavigable after a few years and would severely limit the opportunities for boats coming in and out of the harbour.

“Obviously, the harbour is very much at the heart of the village and vitally important for its tourist trade so it is crucial for the harbour commission to maintain the harbour’s viability in perpetuity.”

The work, costing around £30,000, has been funded by North Sunderland Harbour Commissioners. “It’s an expensive project for us, but it’s something that just has to be done,” said Capt Brabban.

It had been three years since dredging was last carried out at the port.

“It was overdue to be honest,” said Capt Brabban. “Periodically the harbour needs a maintenance dredge to maintain the depth of water and chart datum, the lowest astronomical tide, was the ideal time to get it done.

“The access channel has been opened up to full capacity and the berth along the old pier has been dredged to improve the situation there.

“They’ve done an excellent job,” he added. “They had the right equipment and the right skills and it’s made a big difference. It should last a minimum of three years.”

There are still a handful of small fishing boats today, mostly for shellfish, but the harbour is dominated by tourist and dive boats heading out to the Farnes.