HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: Sand bank mystery at Careenage
MARINE AND COASTAL OFFICIALS are trying to figure out what’s behind the build-up of sand at the mouth of the Careenage.
The area was once the home of the Barbados Coast Guard, Fort Willoughby, before the sailors moved to their current home on Spring Garden.
But in the past few weeks, sand has reduced the minimum ten-foot-deep area into a two-foot wading pool.
Director of Black Pearl Party Cruises, Allan Kinch, told Heather-Lynn’s Habitat he first noticed that a submerged sand bank was building about three to four weeks ago.
His pleasure craft are berthed on the opposite side of the mouth to the Careenage and Kinch feared a continued build-up could possibly reduce the ability to access the Careenage.
“If it came across, if it doubled in size, it would make it impossible to get in and out.”
He explained the sand was coming from the nearby Carlisle Bay Beach which was no longer being held back by the retaining wall.
“It has grown outside of the wall so now it’s going to continue coming across. It’s so shallow you can stand on it.”
Kinch added the build-up could be a hazard for boat owners if they did not know of it.
“It would a foreign vessel or something coming in because you would expect in the harbour a safe passage.”
Meanwhile, Harbour Master Richard Alleyne said the build-up was being investigated and efforts were under way to find out what was behind it.
“We have to understand what is causing it and we would investigate it in conjunction with all the relevant authorities, including Town and Country Planning and Coastal Zone [Management Unit], with a view to determining what action needs to be taken because, while it is a present situation, we need to study it to see if it is a steady, long-term build-up or a temporary situation.”
It might be tidal or due to lateral movement of the sand, Alleyne added. Whatever the case, the Harbour Master said authorities were watching it to see whether the situation would need immediate attention.