Eastbourne struck dumb by new obstacle

Dumb barge presents local mariners with a new obstacle after capsizing in Force 11 winds

Berthholders and others cruising around Eastbourne’s Sovereign Marina during October may have noticed a strange, rather large object anchored approximately two miles off of the shore. One such mariner said: “It was hard to tell whether it was meant to be there or not because it had no lights or buoys around it.”

The huge object, variously described as ‘an island emerging from the sea’, ‘a whale’ and ‘twin Russian submarines’ in fact turned out to be a dumb barge (without power or accommodation). The barge is about 200ft by 50ft and was carrying 15,000 tons of granite and diggers ready to be transported by smaller barges into Sovereign Marina for works purposes.

In the first weekend of October the South Coast experienced torrential rain and severe winds gusting between Force 9-10 at Brighton, with waves towering over the harbour wall at low tide, and a Force 11 at Eastbourne. The barge capsized with all its contents sinking to the seabed.

The barge remains overturned at anchor off Eastbourne, ready to be towed into the harbour. The seabed will be dragged and all the machinery and granite will be recovered by the beginning of November.

Suzanne Perrott/ybw.com

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