Now safe to go to sea
A LONG-REACH excavator perched above the boat ramp entrance at Coffs Harbour was a welcome sight yesterday.
Coffs Harbour City Council spent $12,000 hiring the machinery from Queensland to undertake much - needed dredging at the mouth of the boat ramp.
By day's end, the excavator removed an estimated 1500 cubic metres of sand from the entrance, making it safer for boating enthusiasts.
When the coun-cil inspected the boat ramp before Christmas, the mouth was clear and no siltation was present, according to the council's executive manager of operations, Allan Hindmarsh.
However, consistent north-easterly swells after Christmas caused the entrance to silt up.
"The council inspects the boat ramp regularly and generally takes quick action to fix any problems, Mr Hindmarsh said.
Council staff are at the harbour near the boat ramp twice a week to investigate any instances of sand infill.
The boat ramp is normally dredged a number of times a year depending on weather conditions and swells, a city council spokeswoman said.