Standard Club explains the historically and critically low water level of the Parana River, explaining the risks and why owners should be aware of the potential groundings when navigating this river.
It is highlighted that the weather forecasts do not anticipate any relevant rainfall to improve the river height any time soon. Accordingly, owners should be aware of the risks of grounding when navigating this river.
The Club notes that
It is recommended that members liaise with the designated port agent prior to arrival at the river and on departure from terminals, and to check daily with their agent and duty pilot as to the prevailing river conditions.
As the condition of the Parana River continues to be critically low, the significant reduction on groundings seen the last 60 days compared to previous months would be explained by the effect of alert and awareness raised to all relevant parties.
It is advised to shipowners trading to Argentina to be informed of the current situation on the Parana River and to continue maximising all precautions and taking all measures as previously recommended:
- The passage plan to 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.
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