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Home News Second attempt to refloat capsized dredger planned for Tuesday evening

Second attempt to refloat capsized dredger planned for Tuesday evening

Published on 23/01/2018

A failed attempt to refloat the capsized dredger near the Ria Formosa island of Armona has not deterred the Naval team in charge.

The use of different, more robust equipment, including flotation bags sent down from Lisbon, should see the vessel righted during an attempt on Tuesday evening.

The dredger overturned last Tuesday morning, January 16th, off the Ria Formosa island of Armona. Four workers jumped clear and were treated for hypothermia with one receiving treatment in Faro Hospital for a suspected spinal injury..

The accident probably happened due to the uneven loading of sand but the Olhão mayor said last week that it was too early to draw definitive conclusions.

The 80-metre dredger now lies on the seabed about a kilometre south-west of the Lavajo sand bar near Armona.

Salvage work started last Saturday, but after a failed attempt to right the vessel on Sunday, a reassessment and a change of tactics was needed after one of the bags burst and the dredger remained on its side.

The Captain of the Port of Olhão, Nunes Ferreira, said of Sunday’s work, “The dredger did not shift,” as the flotation bags did not do their job.

Work has continued, to remove sand from the east side of the dredger, thus creating a depression, and more flotation bags are now to be employed.

When the dredger is righted and pumped out, work will begin to fix the engine so the vessel can make its own way to port after refuelling.