Bermuda should have its own sea lane dredger
March 25, 2014
I remember very vividly when a small cruise ship was tied up at Number One Shed in Hamilton several years ago broke loose in a sudden windstorm that appeared out of nowhere and was blown across Hamilton Harbour to the Paget shoreline. It not only snapped all its mooring lines but pulled one of the bollards right out of the ground at the Western end of the No 1 Shed dock. Imagine this happening at Dockyard or St George's to a mega cruise ship? This could cause the whole dock to be damaged or made inoperable.
Should any one of these mega cruise ships break loose from its pier either in Dockyard or St George's in a sudden windstorm that can happen at any time, we do not have the infrastructure to handle a situation like that, Bermuda needs more tug power. Should a mega cruise ship have a fire on board while at a pier we do not have enough fire fighting equipment to assist it. This scenario has already taken place in a cruise ship while in port in the US.
Should an infectious disease take place in Bermuda's territorial waters on a cruise ship or while tied up at any of its ports, how would we handle a situation like that? In my opinion Bermuda is ill equipped to handle any type of problems that can occur with these mega cruise ships. Another issue related to mega cruise ships is the dredging of the channels. For years now it has been talked about improving the North and South Channels and the entranceway into St George's Harbour. The question is, who would pay for such a venture?
Some 60 plus years ago the Bermuda Government had its own dredger, it was named The Lord Cockrane, it was captained by a Charlie Dale from St George's and was crewed by Bermudians. This dredger was constantly working every day of the week for years. All of the silt from these channel dredgings was taken into the deep water behind Commissioner's Point in the Western end of our islands and released. This dredger eventually succumbed to a lightning strike while dredging the channel on the north side of Two-Rock-Passage, it was towed to the US and dismantled. It would certainly be very beneficial if Bermuda had its own dredger.
PETER BROMBY SR