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The dredging of Lyme harbour

Every year since 2006 the harbour master at Lyme Regis organises the removal of the constant build-up of sand in and around the harbour. This has to take place on a very big spring tide when low tide is very low and high tide very high.

DredgingThe sand was brought in from France in 2006 to raise the main beach at Lyme Regis in order to keep the sea from crashing into the sea walls and undermining the many properties along Marine Parade. This also posed a major risk to anyone walking along the sea front during high tide on a rough day when the waves would crash into the walls and fly up into the air splashing down on anyone unfortunate enough to be in their way.

Those days are gone because of the hundreds and hundreds of tons of French sand brought in to raise the beach’s level making it very unlikely that the sea will ever reach the sea walls again. But many tons of that sand has found its way into Lyme Regis harbour adding up to eighteen inches to the sea level of the harbour bottom.

Enter Axminster Excavators led by Sam Vosey. Over the course of seven low tides with the help of various huge dumpers and swing shovels, they moved 15,000 tons of sand, 12,000 tons from the harbour mouth alone! They have to work the tides so work starts on the Monday afternoon low tide then 2 a.m. Tuesday morning low tide then Tuesday afternoon through to Wednesday’s two low tides.

Dredging 01I regard myself as one of the biggest benefactors of the dredging because it makes it possible for us to have access by sea to the harbour at any time of the tide and so leave and return to the harbour for Lyme Regis mackerel fishing and Lyme Regis deep sea fishing trips.

The cost of all this work is around £20,000 and as Lyme Regis harbour makes Lyme Regis what it is today I think most people think it is money well spent.

Published on 18/02/2013.

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