Improvement work to be fast-tracked following evening drama

A

recovery operation has been launched after council pontoons collapsed in Weymouth

Harbour.

Around

50 metres of pontoons in the inner harbour, near Cosens Quay, gave way on Monday

evening and fishermen worked frantically to save around 16 boats

from being dragged underwater.

Andy

Alcock, of the Weymouth and Portland Fishermen’s and Licensed Boatmen’s

Association, said boat owners are calling for urgent action to replace the

missing metres of pontoons before the harbour gets busier.

He

said: ‘At the moment there are sufficient vacant berths to put all the boats on

but that’s only because a lot of people have their boats out the water for

winter lay ups, that will soon change.

‘Around

16 to 17 boats have been reallocated.’

A

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council spokesman said improvement works to

the pontoons had been scheduled for the beginning of May but this would now be

brought forward.

Dominic

Lonsdale, Vice Chairman of Weymouth Harbour board, said: ‘We are grateful for

the input from harbour users with the incident that occurred on Monday evening.

‘Work

is ongoing to secure the pontoons with a section of around 40 metres being

removed as a short term measure.

‘Works

to improve this section of the pontoons has been planned for some time and we

were recently awarded a grant of £42,000 from the European Fisheries Fund

towards the cost of this.

‘This

project was due to begin in 10 weeks time but following the incident last night

we are in discussions with the nominated contractor to see if this can be

brought forward.

‘We

are also referring the incident to our insurers.’