Residents along the river from Rock Channel to Strand Quay may be woken at night from time to time over the next few days by the sound of engines in the river and a searchlight beam penetrating their bedroom curtains.
No, the town is not being invaded, it is just a dredger clearing the river of excess silt that has built up since the last dredging operation in 2015. Using the method of hydrodynamic dredging, a stream of water will be directed from hoses on to the river bed at points where the silt has collected. This causes the silt to be suspended in the river water and taken out to sea on the ebb tide.
A simple and efficient system, it replaces the process of physically lifting up the silt onto barges for dumping either out at sea or elsewhere along the coast.
Planned to commence on February 19, the operation is expected to last for seven days, working both day and night, with times being dictated by the tide. Starting at the confluence of the Rother and Rock Channel, the dredger will operate between there and the rivers Brede and Tillingham sluices. It will also work on the east side of the Rother at Rye wharf to maintain the turning circle used by commercial traffic discharging at the wharf.
This will be welcome news to the many yachts using the river as the approach to Strand Quay was becoming particularly shallow with at least one boat grounding there on a high tide when coming into the quay a few months ago.
For further information can be obtained from the Harbour Office, telephone 01797 225225 or email email@example.com
Photo: John Minter