|USCG Sector Corpus Christi held a Port Coordination Team (PCT) conference call at 1500 hours today to update the industry on the status of the draft reduction on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel caused due to report of an unknown anomaly located on Friday February 11th. Your WGMA Maritime Affairs team participated on the call and has the following report:
Survey vessels are continuing to experience delays due to the windy conditions across the Bay; the National Weather Service advises this will continue throughout the week.
Callan Marine has ceased drag operations as of yesterday evening; they reached a “point of diminishing returns” and there’s no need to continue the operation because that alone will not get the channel depth back to where it should be.
The minimum recorded depth over the “hump” of mud was 45.87 feet as of last night.
The maximum allowable deep draft to pass the area was increased to 43 feet on Saturday evening.
The dredge working for the Army Corps at Ingleside is due to finish that contract around Saturday (Feb 26th), and begin shifting to start the next contract for the channel improvement project. The equipment should be in place by Monday February 28th. If all goes by plan, that would be the first available option to finish removing the hump and once finished, the channel draft could be restored to 45 feet. It was mentioned that the dredge would only need a few hours to clear the remaining area.
There was much discussion about possibilities of moving vessel traffic with draft greater than 43 feet before the hump is fully removed. The Coast Guard and Pilots will discuss this offline and see if there is a workable scenario for safe passage.
The US Army Corps of Engineers, US Coast Guard, Aransas Corpus Christi Pilots and the Harbormaster are closely monitoring the situation. Ongoing operations and draft updates will be communicated by additional MSIB updates.
MSIB 04-22, Initial Report of Anomaly, issued February 13th, draft restricted to 40′
MSIB 05-22, Schedule for Diving Operations, issued February 14th
MSIB 06-22, Schedule for Drag Operations, issued February 14th
MSIB 04-22 Update 1, Ongoing Operations, issued February 15th, draft amended 42′
MSIB 06-22 Update 1, Ongoing Operations, issued February 16th
MSIB 06-22 Update 2, Ongoing Operations, issued February 17th
MSIB 06-22 Update 3, Ongoing Operations, issued February 18th
MSIB 06-22 Update 4, Ongoing Operations, issued February 19th
MSIB 04-22 Update 2, Ongoing Operations, issued February 19th, draft amended 43′
MSIB 06-22 Update 5, Ongoing Operations, issued February 20th
Agents are reminded to update US Customs & Border Protection regarding delays in departure, and to maintain close dialogue with the Harbor Master and pilot dispatch offices. Agents are also reminded to keep the eNOA/D’s updated for their vessels.
The next PCT conference call has been scheduled for 1500 hours on Wednesday February 23rd. Your Maritime Affairs team will participate on the PCT conference call and report to our membership afterwards.