Estonian Maritime Administration to survey Rukki Channel

The Estonian Maritime Administration's surveying vesselKajais to begin surveying Rohuküla Harbour's Rukki Channel in the next few days, as soon as ice conditions allow.

"The thing is, theKaja's sonar sensor is expensive and delicate, and it is in the water, which is why we cannot begin surveying until either all kinds of ice in the region has sunk or winds have blown any ice out of the area surrounding the channel, "Estonian Maritime Administration adviser Priit Põiklik told ERR.

The surveying is to be conducted to determine whether conditions in the channel can be improved by trawling.

Regional paper Hiiu Leht reported that despite the fact that the sea is partially still iced over near Rohuküla and the Rukki Channel, OÜ Meremõõdukeskus' surveying vesselLennewas already spotted working in the area over the weekend.

OÜ Meremõõdukeskus director Peeter Ude helped out residents of Hiiumaa in fall 2016 as well, when he trawled the Rukki Channel after the island's ferry connection to the mainland was interrupted during a weeks-long period of low sea levels.

"We have also received information that a surveying vessel had been seen in the area of the Rukki Channel over the weekend," Põiklik said. "We have not ordered or conducted surveying there."

OÜ Meremõõdukeskus has forwarded the results of its survey to the Estonian Maritime Administration.

"As according to our information, they were not able to survey the entire channel, it wouldn't be wise right now to comment on what the minimum depth of the channel may be," Põiklik said, adding that this could only be determined once the state agency had conducted its own survey of the channel.

The Estonian Maritime Administration wants to begin work smoothing out the seafloor in the channel before May 1 if possible. The channel is to be deepend this August.

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