Rijkswaterstaat is very busy mapping out all the problems in and around the waterways in our country. The enormous flooding of recent weeks resulted in unsafe and unnavigable waterways in our country. The waterway markings have been washed away in many places and all kinds of junk floated in the rivers, such as trees, refrigerators, DIXIs and caravans. The Maas was blocked until July 21, in order to prevent unsafe situations for shipping traffic. The Meuse was also blocked to prevent waves from ships around houses, dikes and emergency dikes. You can imagine that a large ship brings huge waves, and you can absolutely not use that in a situation of high water. The Mobile traffic controllers have maintained this navigation ban on the Meuse.

“If a house is just out of water and a ship is sailing by, it can cause a wave to come in. That is not desirable. Not many people sail with a boat. Professional shipping is well informed and is in close contact with information channels for reporting on this. Every now and then you come across some recreational boats or a few fishermen in a boat who have not heard about the block. We then speak to them, explain that there is a ban and that they have to get off the water again”.

Joost, Mobile Traffic Controller on the Maas and the Juliana Canal.

All junk floating in the Maas must of course be cleaned up, most of the junk in the waterway has now been cleaned up. The largest rubbish was fished out of the water with crane ships. There is also a lot of junk on the banks, but Rijkswaterstaat says that it is busy in consultation with the municipalities on how this can best be tackled. Cleaning up this mess on the banks can lead to dangerous situations. You can only get stuck in mud up to your knees and there can also be dangerous objects such as gas bottles between the washed up mess. This therefore requires a special approach.

“We are currently monitoring whether the waterway markings are still in order everywhere. This has been washed away in many places. If we see that the marking is not in good condition somewhere, we pass this on to the marking service, who will then put everything back in order. That doesn't happen in a day, so a message is sent out to all shipping that the marking is unreliable."

Joost, Mobile Traffic Controller on the Maas and the Juliana Canal.

Photo above: Kim Willems / Shutterstock.com

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