Low Water Levels Push ACP to Third Draft Restriction

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) has issued the third draft restriction amid lower water levels of the Gatun Lake.

As of May 9, 2016 the maximum authorized transit draft is set at 11.59 meters Tropical Fresh Water (TFW), the ACP said.

Vessels loaded to drafts over 11.59 meters prior to or on April 11, 2016 will have this draft restriction waived for transit whereas those loaded after April 11 will have to comply with the new draft restriction.

Just a week ago, ACP introduced the second draft restrictions effective April 29th, 2016 for all vessels transiting the canal amid dry weather conditions brought about by the El Niño.

El Niño has triggered a drought in the Canal Watershed, causing the water level of Gatun Lake to fall substantially below its average for this time of the year.

As a result, the maximum authorized transit draft was set at 11.74 meters of Tropical Fresh Water (TFW).


World Maritime News Staff