Panama Canal announces second draught restriction

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) announced a second draught restriction for the Canal due to drought caused by the El Niño phenomenon.

Effective 29 April the maximum authorised transit draught will be set at 11.74 m (38.5 ft) tropical fresh water.

Vessels loaded to draughts over 11.74 m (38.5 ft) on or before April 1, 2016, will have this draught restriction waived for transit, subject to safety considerations. Vessels loaded after 1 April 2016 will have to comply with the draught restriction. Draught restrictions will be implemented in 15 cm (six-inch) decrements at a time, with each restriction announced at least four weeks in advance.

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) will continue to monitor and manage the water levels. The Panama Canal will eliminate these draught restrictions as soon as Gatun Lake level returns to normal.As always, these are temporary and preventive measures to ensure the continuous and safe operations of the canal. The ACP said it remained fully committed to responsible management of its water resources and the protection of the waterway.

Posted 10 April 2016

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Michele Labrut

Americas Correspondent, Seatrade Maritime News

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