Harbor Dredge Breaks – Harbor Closed Through Friday
La Encina, the rusty “old reliable” harbor dredge barge had a breakdown on its first day of duty this past weekend. While attempting to tackle the monumental volume of sand and debris that continues to keep Santa Barbara Harbor closed, the barge blew out its main power supply. This main power unit that runs the actual dredge head and pump is an electrical device that was installed in the interest of environmental protection. While the dredge is dead in the water, a brand new power supply has to be manufactured in the mid-west, shipped to Santa Barbara, then installed on the barge before dredging operations can continue. The barge operators told our Captain Dave that hopes are high that operations will commence again on Thursday…but it will take time to remove all that sand. The Condor Express had suspended all whale watch trips until Saturday March 15.
Stay tuned for further developments as this story continues to unfold.