Despite small improvement since June 2020, the critically low water levels in the Parana River continue, as the rainfalls in the basin are still expected to be ‘deficient’ during the last quarter of the year.
In a new circular, UK Club Correspondents P&I Liquidadores S.R.L. inform that neither of the forecasts issued by the National Weather Service (SMN) nor the National Institute of Water (INA) foresee any relevant improvement soon.
As such, shipowners trading to Argentina should continue maximizing all precautions and taking all measures as previously recommended:
- The passage plan should be discussed with the pilot with all the crew that will be on the bridge during navigation even in ballast condition and to keep a good record in writing of the discussed navigational plan.
- When loading, the Master should be alert of the condition of the river bearing in mind the maximum permissible draft – which are based on the critical points that the vessel has to sail through depending the port/terminal she is in. This information is provided by the Undersecretary of Ports and Waterways every morning around 9 or 10 am so a vessel which is going to complete overnight could be sailing with the information provided during the morning and must be checked with agents daily.
- Be reminded that the vessels should keep a 2” (0.60m) UKC at all times and it is of utmost importance to consider the ship’s squat especially when crossing critical passages bearing in mind this time of low water levels.
- In case of any doubt the Master should always get in touch with the designated port agents before entering the River Plate basin and before departing from the designated terminal as to obtain accurate/updated information to be confirmed then with the pilot on duty.