Port chief’s assurances on harbour

THE chief executive of EastPort has given assurances that the issue of swell causing problems for smaller vessels in Great Yarmouth’s outer harbour is being addressed.

Eddie Freeman spoke out after fresh concerns were raised about the exposed position of the harbour following the decision of the captain of the cable-laying vessel Team Oman to leave the harbour early on Friday due to a 2m swell.

It comes just weeks after a similar well-publicised incident when the grain-carrying vessel, the Arklow Viking, abandoned an attempt to dock in the outer harbour in windy conditions.

At that time, the captain, Hans Cadee, said there was too much movement and pitch and roll to be safe for loading.

He described the outer harbour as “completely exposed to the easterly wind from the North Sea which can affect even the bigger ships”.

Downplaying the latest incident, Mr Freeman said Team Oman had just left the harbour slightly early. In a force seven wind, and because of her design, “she was becoming uncomfortable on the fenders”.

He said it was only since the harbour had opened that the issue of certain smaller vessels “experiencing sensitivity” in windy conditions had become apparent.

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He pointed out that the harbour had originally been designed for vessels too large to fit into the river port.

However, with market trends leading to smaller vessels wanting to use the harbour too, they were addressing the swell issue by putting a different kind of softer fender along a section of quay.

He said they were also planning further mitigation measures.

A spokesman for shipping agents, LV Shipping, said Team Oman was working on the Sheringham Shoal windfarm and it was unlikely she would need to return to the Yarmouth harbour.