Waasland Sea Barge, Spanish Prince Wreck, Prince of Wales Pier, Dover, Kent, UK 2

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John Latter on June 7, 2010

The Waasland sea barge, photographed at 6.56 pm on Friday, 4th of June 2010, alongside the Prince of Wales Pier, had arrived overnight from Antwerp (Belgium) and is in Dover Harbour to remove part of a blockship located near the harbour's Western Entrance.

Behind the Waasland is the Southern Breakwater whose western end terminates in the Dover Breakwater West End Light. To the right of the lighthouse is the open expanse of the Western Entrance beyond which are the Straits of Dover and English Channel. The Western Entrance is bounded by the out-of-shot Admiralty Pier located further to the right.

The first Waasland at the Prince of Wales Pier photo was taken at 6.41 am and shows the other end of the barge from further along the Prince of Wales Pier. This second photo gives a clearer view of the barge's two "legs" and the relative size of the side pontoon carrying the excavator.

A White Cliffs Bulletin (April, 2010) has this entry:

...the removal of the old block ship Spanish Prince is to go ahead and the vessel will be cut up to remove the navigational hazard. Work is to commence in June for 12 weeks.

A brief shouted exchange with a member of the Wassland's crew revealed that work is expected to start on removing part of the wreck on Monday, June 14th.

The bow of the Spanish Prince lies about 90 feet from a point just to the left of the Dover Breakwater West End Light in the above photo (the lighthouse also appears in - for example - the MS Costa Magica Cruise Ship, Southern Breakwater photo).

The ship is aligned approximately at right-angles to the breakwater so that her stern, marked by a wreck buoy, points towards the beach: click to see a Multibeam Sonar Image of the Spanish Prince whose caption also contains more information about the blockships.

The Waasland is owned by Herbosch-Kiere (based in Kallo, Belgium; where the Waasland is registered) whose UK subsiduary Herbosch-Kiere UK said in a press release on the 28th of May:

Herbosch Kiere Marine Contractors Ltd has recently been awarded two contracts by Dover Harbour Board.

The first contract to be undertaken in June, is the salvage and partial removal of the blockship Spanish Prince, an ex cargoship which was scuttled by the Admiralty during the First World War and lies to the east of the Western Entrance in the Outer Harbour of the Port.

...To improve access to the port for the new larger ferries and cruise ships, Dover Harbour Board decided the blockship needed to be removed.

Herbosch Kiere will use our multi-purpose barge Waasland and speciality lifting and cutting equipment for this contract, the ship will be cut up in situ before being raised from the sea bed.

The Waasland has just finished a 5 week project in Scotland which had been announced on 22nd April (1):

Travellers using Kennacraig Ferry Terminal will soon see a new sight in the waters as work gets underway to remove a sunken barge near the ferry berth.

Marine contractors Herbosch-Kiere will be using a large working barge, Waasland, to excavate and remove the old Thames barge which sank in the 1970s.

The work will be carried out during the day using an 85 tonne excavator and a 325 tonne crane.

A Herbosch-Kiere press release about the Thames barge project specified a "50t excavator with shear cutter". Either way, it seems reasonable that the Waasland in the above photo is carrying similar - if not the same - equipment, with the excavator on the left-hand side pontoon and the crane in the centre.

Wassland details (2) (3):

Description: Flat Top Pontoon

Dimensions in metres: 60 x 13.85 (25.9 with side pontoons) x 3

Capacity in tonnes (tonnage?): 1800 T

Spud length: 26 m, 25 tonnes

Maximum lift: 322.04 tonnes

Number of legs: 2

Click to see all Ships photos (related tags: Boats, Ferries, Cruise Ship).

(1) Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited News Release. (2) Entry from the Herbosch-Kiere Floating Plant webpage (Floating Plant link). (3) Waasland dimensions.

Part of the Lighthouse Depot entry for the Dover Breakwater West End Light: built 1909; active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); red light, one 3 second occultation every 30 seconds. 21 m (70 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted white: click to see all Lighthouse photos.

John Latter / Jorolat

Dover Blog: The Psychology of a Small Town

This is the Images of Dover website: click on any red or blue "John Latter" link to access the Entry Page.

John Latter on June 18, 2010

Notice to Mariners No. 7/2010 issued by Dover Harbour Board on June 11th, 2010:


Works to remove the Western Entrance Block Ship are expected to commence on or after Wednesday 16th June and are currently programmed to last 10 weeks.

During this period the block ship position is to be marked by various small buoys and two 60m crane barges with legs and marked anchors will remain on station, principally to the east side of the site. The recovered steel will transported to the Jet Foil Basin by a tug and barge.

The Western Entrance will remain open for use but when manoeuvring in the vicinity all vessels are advised to exercise caution, proceed at slow speed and maintain a safe distance from the floating plant.

The North Cardinal Buoy, (Wreck Buoy), will remain on station until such time as it becomes necessary to lift it clear of the area to progress work at the northern end.

On completion of this work the charted depth will be increased to 8.5m over the entire area and the North Cardinal Buoy permanently removed.

Captain Roy Bird

Date 11th June 2010

Port Operations Manager/Deputy Harbourmaster Port of Dover

John Latter on July 3, 2010

As more photos of removing the Spanish Prince are going to be uploaded, I've created a Spanish Prince tag (this should be easier than trying to remember which photos should be cross-linked to which).

John Latter on July 4, 2010

Click to see the first photo to be uploaded of the Waasland`s crane holding part of the Spanish Prince.

Future photos will be found under the "Spanish Prince" tag.

John Latter on July 4, 2010

John Latter, on June 7, said:

The ship Spanish Prince is aligned approximately at right-angles to the breakwater so that her stern, marked by a wreck buoy, points towards the beach.

Click to see a photo of the North Cardinal Wreck Buoy

John Latter on July 6, 2010

John Latter, on June 7, 2010, said:

It seems reasonable that the Waasland in the above photo is carrying similar - if not the same - equipment, with the excavator on the left-hand side pontoon and the crane in the centre.

Looking towards the bow, this should have read "right-hand side pontoon" - perhaps I should start using "port" and "starboard"!

The excavator is a "CAT" made by the Caterpillar Tractor Company and the main crane is an "AMERICAN" made by the American Crane and Equipment Corporation.

John Latter on August 2, 2010

Commander Charles Herbert Lightoller DSC & Bar, RD, RNR (March 30, 1874 - December 8, 1952) was the second mate (second officer) on board the RMS Titanic, and the most senior officer to survive the disaster.

Click to see the connection between Charles Lightoller of the Titanic and the Spanish Prince blockship of Dover Harbour (photo shows Lightoller's old home at 8 East Cliff, Marine Parade, Dover).

John Latter on January 9, 2013

The Waasland Sea Barge (flat top pontoon) also appears in:

Night Panorama of the Western Docks in Dover Harbour

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on June 7, 2010
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by John Latter
    • Camera: PENTAX Corporation PENTAX K100D
    • Taken on 2010/06/04 18:56:18
    • Exposure: 0.003s (1/320)
    • Focal Length: 38.00mm
    • F/Stop: f/11.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO200
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash