In recent weeks dredging vessels have been a common sight around Fenit Harbour & Marina. Historically, silting was a problem for the old port at Blennerville and the Tralee Ship Canal. The deep-water port of Fenit, established in the late 1880’s, was also prone to silt and sand build-up. In response, in the early 1900’s the Fenit Harbour Commissioners bought a bucket dredger. More than 100 years later intermittent dredging remains necessary to maintain the operating depths and ensure safe navigation.
The dredging was performed by Dutch Dredging company De Boer who were here previously in 2016. The dredging ship “Mahury” (named after a river in French Guaya, South America) basically works like a large floating vacuum cleaner, pumping all the mud from the seabed into its cargo hold. The “Mahury” was accompanied by the tugboat “Peter”, which was used for measuring the depths and pulling dredge material towards the dredger.
We reached out to Dutch Dredging to ask for their impressions of Fenit.
Everyone on board felt that Fenit is a beautiful area and, coming from Holland which is flat, said it was marvellous to see the mountains. Normally they work in large industrial ports near heavy industries and city centres, so the views from Fenit made all the difference.
“Really wish the view was like this in all the places we visit!”
The crew spent their evenings angling and taking a walk. Everyone they met was always very friendly and interested in what was going on. The superintendent even brought his own mountain bike and tried it out on the hills on the Dingle peninsula. Everyone involved on the project really enjoyed on the works in Fenit and hopes to return to Fenit in the future. They hope that the depths now created in the harbour will remain for a long time to facilitate all the harbour users. After completion of the works both vessels had to leave for France.
Dutch Dredging looks forward to meeting us all again in Fenit in a hopefully Covid-Free future.