Standard Club has been notified by its local correspondent, A&A Multriprime, of the current exceptionally low draft limits at Barranquilla, Colombia.
amely, because of the strong rainy season and the increase of sedimentation levels across the navigable channel of the Magdalena River, the draft limit for ships arriving and departing from Barranquilla has been reduced to its historical lowest figures.
The local maritime authority, DIMAR, has fixed a maximum allowed draft limit of only 6.2 m (for ships up to 180m length) and 6.6.m (for ships up to 200m length).
The port authorities have been working on addressing the situation and dredging operations were underway. These have recently been suspended but are expected to resume soon.
In the meantime, no ships will be allowed to sail or arrive if the above draft limits are exceeded.
Standard warned operators calling Barranquilla to be careful to avoid groundings. To mitigate the risk of grounding it is recommended that Masters do the following:
- Have the most recent local bathymetric charts with them
- That they reconfirm with agents the latest authorized draft figures
- If possible, enter the port in daylight
- Use echo sounders while passing through the channel
- Ensure that the officers on the bridge work closely with pilots at all times.