Low tides cause chaos in Bridport

One of the lowest tides of the year sparked a wave of protest from boat operators at Bridport last month, reports the Bridport News online. Angry sailors say the district council’s promises that the £18million new harbour would be navigable at all times have been proved worthless. The problem is said to be caused by sediment being washed down for the river Brit which had created the mud bank beneath the slipway – solid enough for a Land Rover to park on it during one exceptionally low tide!

The large number of easterly gales recently has washed gravel from the east beach creating a sandbar at the harbour mouth.’There was £18 million spent and at low water last summer your couldn’t get in and out,’ said one furious local yachtsman. ‘Visiting boats who don’t know any different and who don’t phone the harbourmaster on the way in run aground.’

West Dorset District Council’s Technical Services Manager Steve Woollard said: ‘We have been carrying out dredging and sluicing of the harbour over the last few months, but the recent wet weather in February has resulted in the outer harbour becoming more silted than usual and the recent very low spring tides have illustrated this.

‘We are now looking at more extensive dredging operations to remove the silt. The harbour will always be subject to the effects of different weather, river and sea conditions and because it has only been open for two years we are still learning the best ways of managing these.’


Picture: David Miles