Works ongoing to salvage sunken dredge “Draga”
Over a month after dredge “Draga” sank at Pieremap Falls, Mazaruni River, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni), efforts are now moving apace to salvage the wreckage.The vessel bearing registration number SD 3398 and owned by Crown Mining is expected to be removed from its present position in a matter of days.The operation is being untaken by the Natural Resources Ministry and several agencies including Crown Mining, to have the wreckage removed from the Mazaruni River since it is dangerously positioned.According to a statement issued by the Natural Resources Ministry, a crew of workers has built a specialised pontoon which will be used to bring to the surface the partly sunken dredge. The pontoon has three hydraulic winches and is 28 feet wide, 68 feet long and four feet deep. It has 18 compartments.“The plan is to fill the pontoon with water and then secure it to the sunken barge. The water will then be pumped out of the pontoon, which will cause it to rise up, taking the Draga with it. The pontoon when empty will have a lifting capacity of 180 tonnes,” the release stated.However, while the crew is at the site attempting to execute the plan, several challenges are now being encountered.The officials explained that the speed of the water at the top of the Pieremap Falls, coupled with a prolonged rainy season, is making the job even more difficult since the works entail underwater cutting.The works will soon be executed as the water levels drop, making the operation less dangerous. “The Ministry of Natural Resources will continue to monitor the situation in collaboration with the Maritime Administration Department,” the release added.