Using inflatable balloons, work will start on Saturday morning to right the dredger that capsized in the Ria Formosa lagoon near Armona this Tuesday.
Olhão’s port captain, Nunes Ferreira, said operations will commence at 09:00 and, if all goes according to plan, the 80-metre dredger will be righted on Sunday or Monday.
The diesel leaking from the dredger into the Ria Formosa natural park’s lagoon was found to be minor and the bulk of the fuel remains sealed in undamaged tanks.
The weather forecast is for a clear, calm weekend and Ferreira is confident the capsized vessel soon will be afloat and taken into port while the inquiry continues into how the dredger managed to sink in ideal conditions.
The most likely explanation is that the wet sand that was being pumped aboard, was loaded unevenly in the hold and its weight turned the boat on its side.
The dredger was taking on sand from the seabed near Armona and pumping it ashore at Barril, Tavira, as part of environmental work to stabilise the seashore and halt erosion.
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