227 - 1/02 - Heavy Weather Alongside - El Dekheila

One of our Member’s bulk carriers twice recently visited the port of El Dekheila, near Alexandria, Egypt. On both occasions, the vessel experienced heavy swell whilst alongside, resulting in the vessel surging along the quay. On the second occasion, she parted a total of eleven mooring lines and required the assistance of a tug, pilot and mooring crew to resecure the vessel. Two ship’s staff were injured during this operation.

Obtaining assistance unfortunately, takes a long time in El Dekheila – the port is likely to be closed once the wind reaches Force 6 or there is a heavy swell running, although a tug is always on standby for emergencies. Once the port is closed, except under special circumstances, no vessel is allowed to enter or leave.

The prevailing wind is from the north and northwest and can reach Force 8/9 – the berths are largely unprotected when the wind is from the north. The Port Authority are aware of the situation – there are, it is reported, studies to increase the length of the breakwater to afford more shelter.

Weather reports are broadcast daily via Alexandria Radio and can also be received through other weather stations, such as Athens.

Masters are advised to ensure that weather reports are received in plenty of time so that the decision to remain alongside or leave for a safer anchorage / searoom may be taken in good time. Masters are also advised to ensure that they have sufficient moorings and possibly a supply of fenders – and a watch is kept on them should the weather deteriorate.

Source of information: Danny Ng (Hong Kong)

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