Careenage ‘not safe at all’
FAILURE TO UPGRADE the Careenage has been blamed for the underwater erosion which has damaged the Wharf Road in The City.
And at least one water sports operator says successive governments have not paid any attention to pleas for a breakwater to be built in the area so as to curtail any damage that would occur during strong sea surges.
Martyn Melhuish, owner and captain of the water sports vessel IOU,?said he had written to ministers and authorities in both administrations outlining the unsafe nature of the Careenage and the lack of “haul-out” facilties for boats in the area, but to no avail.
“The real solution was the building of a breakwater to prevent seas entering the Careenage which was scheduled in the Pierhead Development Plan, but despite this being shelved
a breakwater project on its own is urgently needed,” he told the DAILY NATION yesterday.
Melhuish added that another temporary solution would be to erect a groyne at the entrance of the Careenage.
He said because of the absence of such facilities, several water sports boats were destroyed and some sunk following the recent strong sea surges caused by Tropical Storm Tomas almost two weeks ago.
“A few days ago, Tomas caught some of us out; it snuck up on us and then developed rapidly, resulting in some of us being caught in the Careenage and on moorings in Carlisle Bay.
“Throughout the storm, the vessels were tended by dedicated crews but this could not prevent some damage. Moorings dragged, bringing boats crashing together,” Melhuish said.
The water sports operator noted, however, that while the seas were raging in the Careenage, the inner basin was relatively calm but could not be accessed because of mechanical problems with the new bridge.
“I hate to say I told you so, but Tomas has highlighted what a desperate situation boat owners are in, despite those in power being made aware of it.
“The solutions are simple. Build a small groyne at Carlisle Wharf as a temporary measure to prevent some swells entering the Careenage, but proceed to build a proper breakwater as soon as possible, “ Melhuish said. (TS)