Friday, November 9, 2012
Friday afternoon a barge headed out from Georgetown on a 1,000-mile journey ran aground in the Georgetown harbor.
Edwin Jayroe, head harbor pilot at the Port of Georgetown, saw the smoke from a tug being used to free the barge and went out to take a picture.
The tug had a load of cement from Holcim Cement in Georgetown and was on its way to New England, Jayroe said.
“It went out in a narrow place,” Jayroe said.
“I got it off, but it just points out that even the cement business could be in trouble if we don’t get the port dredged.”
He estimated the water depth at the point just off Morgan Park in Georgetown was about 16 or 17 feet. Tide was a little low and the barge was likely loaded for the normal 19-foot depth of most of the channel.
“We’re doing about 19-foot draft on ships.”
The target depth for the Port of Georgetown and the federal channel through Winyah Bay to the Atlantic Ocean is 27 feet.
Break-bulk cargo volume at the Port of Georgetown is up this year over last year, and reached double last year’s volume. Annual volume for the 2011-2012 fiscal year was 548,919 tons. The previous year it was 276,570 tons.
Metglas of Conway was scheduled to have its first cargo of steel billets on Monday.
That’s a hopeful catalyst for the Port of Georgetown, Dodd Smith of Metglas said at an announcement ceremony in early October.
By Tommy Howard