Work on new pontoon

The dredger positioned on the River Foyle, just below the City Council offices, clearing the way for a new pontoon. 2704JM36
The dredger positioned on the River Foyle, just below the City Council offices, clearing the way for a new pontoon. 2704JM36

Work is under way on the river Foyle to build a new pontoon ahead of the arrival of the yachts talking part in the Clipper Round the World Race.

A large dredger is in place on the river close to the marina at the Derry City Council offices and is currently working on the construction of the new pontoon.

The dredger, ‘Aoife’ arrived on the river earlier this week and is accompanied by several smaller vessels also working on the project.

The new construction, known as the Marine Events Pontoon, is expected to be completed within four weeks.

The pontoon will be close to the riverbank at Baronet Street and will play host to the yachts competing in the Clipper Race when they dock in the city between June 29 and July 1.

Harbourmaster Bill McCann said the construction work on the new pontoon will also involve diving operations.

Mr McCann also called on river users to be vigilant while the work on the pontoon is carried out.

“There will be up to 40 floating marker buoys/floats in this area, unlit, during the construction phase. Mariners are requested to keep a good look out whilst navigating in this area and to keep clear of these buoys,” he said.

The Harbourmaster also said other vessels will be working in the area alongside the barge. “In addition to the barge, additional vessels will also be involved and working in this area.

“All vessels are requested to give this area a wide berth and to keep clear of all vessels involved in working on this operation. All working vessels will maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 14,” he added.

He also encouraged other craft using river to look out for divers. “Diving operations will also take place during stages of the construction; dive Craft will display appropriate flags. During diving operations all vessels must pass well clear at a ‘safe speed.”

“Works will take place for approximately 4 weeks – a further notice will be issued on completion,” he said.

The new pontoon will be located alongside the existing marina which was built several years ago. More than a dozen boats, including a number of fishery patrol vessels, are currently moored at the marina.