Panama Canal restriction eliminates draft of vessels


The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) reported on Friday, August 28, 2015, that-until further notice suspended restrictions on the draft of vessels that were to be implemented from September 8 because of the effects of drought.

ACP depth analyzes possible restriction on ships
The company explained that although the level of Gatun Lake is still below normal for this time of year, the amount of rain that has swept over the channel in recent days made it possible to suspend the announced restrictions.
He also stressed that measures have been taken to save water and work have been made to deepen navigation channels.
Consequently, vessels may transit under the greatest draft permitted by the Panama Canal, ie 12.04 meters (39.5 feet) in tropical fresh water.
The ACP warned that restrictions on vessel draft can again be implemented in the event of changing weather conditions and the level of Lake Gatun reduced again. If so, these new measures would be announced to customers at least four weeks in advance.
In turn, the ACP said it will continue monitoring and managing water levels of lakes Gatun and Alajuela to ensure the safety and efficiency of their services.
Studies show that El Niño has severely hit the country’s 52 watersheds. Forecasts made by experts predict that the phenomenon will last until the first quarter of next year.


Ernesto Chong de León, Ernesto Emilio Chong Coronado