THE BRITISH registered vessel ‘Kelly C’ ran aground on August 24 when departing the port of Ribadeo in Galicia after arriving there the day before from Ceuta.
The 106-metre ship carries cellulose between different destinations and needs a fairly short draft (the depth of the hull) as the Eo Estuary regularly becomes difficult to navigate and tides and wind can move sand and silt in an unpredictable manner.
Gondán Shipyards Company, based in Figueras, has been demanding the estuary be dredged and especially the sandbank which is making access to their port in Ribadeo more and more unpredictable.
They have taken the steps of dredging the area themselves and have hired tugs, but believe that the local administrations should pay to keep the estuary, which is on the border between Asturias and Galicia, clear.
Apart from actual risk of damage to visiting vessels, the shipyard is unable to construct ships with a draft of more than six metres, which means that they are unable to expand their business to a more lucrative market.