Dig the Vistula Spit. Ursa almost ready for work. Sea trials of the dredger have begun


A new facility on the Vistula Spit cutting. The special ship is a dredger. He is to ensure that the bottom is five meters deep, not one and a half meters. It will have a lot of work, because the section of the waterway from the Baltic Sea to the port in Elbląg is 20 kilometers long.

The dredger is actually a large, floating vacuum cleaner that will clean the bottom of the Vistula Lagoon. The new unit is almost ready for operation, although the waterway itself, where the ship is to operate, will not be completed in two years.

The ship called Ursa, or Bear, has just arrived from Finland, where it was built. On June 13, sea trials of the dredge began near the Vistula Spit cutting.

– You can actually say that it is like a vacuum cleaner, but we drag the suction nozzle behind us – says Jan Młotkowski, deputy director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia for navigational marking.

The silt and clay extracted from the bottom of the reservoir will be used to expand the territory of Poland

Ursa is to deepen the waterway created by digging the Vistula Spit to five meters. This is an over 20-kilometer route through the Vistula Lagoon, which in the future will be used by seagoing ships from the Baltic Sea to Elbląg.

The waterway was created thanks to the Vistula Spit CutGoogle Earth

According to scientists, the Vistula Lagoon is a body of water where today any larger ship would run aground, because its average depth is one and a half meters. Additionally, the muddy bottom of the Lagoon can rise rapidly even after one strong storm.

– The main waterway flows through the center of the Lagoon, which – please note – has not been deepened since World War II – informs Dr. Piotr Szmytkiewicz from the Institute of Water Engineering of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

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Ursa was ordered and built in Finland specifically for the Spit excavation. It cost almost PLN 120 million. The silt and clay it extracts from the bottom of the Lagoon will be used to expand the territory of Poland.

– This material will ultimately be deposited on an island that was created especially for this purpose on the Vistula Lagoon – says Magdalena Kierzkowska from the Maritime Office in Gdynia.

The construction of the waterway to Elbląg will take another two years. During this time, Ursa will work around other smaller ports. The ship's baptism is planned for July. The unusual unit will be stationed in the port on the Spit cutting and it will also be possible to see it there.

Main photo source: Maritime Office in Gdynia

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