50th anniversary for 'Cherry Sand'

The Cherry Sand is seen alongside in the ABP Port of Grimsby
Industry Database

UK Dredging (UKD), an operating division of Associated British Ports (ABP), has celebrated the 50th anniversary of one of its key dredging vessels, the 'Cherry Sand'.

Cherry Sand was built by Appledore Shipbuilders in North Devon for ABP’s predecessor the British Transport Docks Board and first entered service in 1968. The grab hopper dredger was designed to maintain the Port of Grimsby, which is also the Cherry Sand’s Port of Registry. Today the ship operates much further afield, dredging not only on the Humber but at ports all around the UK.

During its working life, Cherry Sands has moved an estimated 25 tonnes of mud, silt and sands from berths, docks, harbours and their approaches.

Speaking at the ceremony, UK Dredging general manager Paul Mitchell said, “It is important that we recognise the contribution that the Cherry Sand and her crew have made during the past 50 years. We have continued to invest significantly in the ship, its systems and machinery to ensure that it meets all the requirements of modern standards and continues to operate safely and efficiently.

The most significant recent investment was the replacement of its dredging crane in 2016 at a cost of over £1 million. With replacement engines planned within the next few years we can expect the vessel to continue to operate to an extremely high standard for decades to come.”

Managed from offices in Cardiff, the UKD fleet routinely carries out over half the annual maintenance dredging requirement of the entire UK.

By Larz Bourne

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