Cleaning of waters of Liepaja Port in Karosta from Soviet-era waste resumes

  • 2023-06-09
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - At the Latvian coastal city of Liepaja, works to clean the harbor area of Karosta from the waste left by the Soviet military have resumed today, Liga Ratniece-Kadege, the representative of the Liepaja Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Administration, informed LETA.

The works are carried in cooperation with the Liepaja SEZ administration, using the Watermaster equipment purchased by the Liepaja municipality last year.

As shown by the previous studies in the port area, various metal objects can still be found in Karosta, which move due to currents and winds and can cause various hazards.

The works are being carried out when the weather conditions are suitable - there is no strong wind and waves, and equipment is not needed to perform other works in Lake Liepaja. The multi-functional amphibious excavator Watermaster IV works in the water area of the harbor in Karosta, collecting what was left by the Soviet military - ropes, anchor chains, rusty buoys, etc.

Mostly the amphibian takes out rusty metal cables and buoys.

From 1951 to 1957 and from 1966 to 1991, the port of Liepaja was a closed military base of the USSR, but the economic activity in the port territory was resumed only in 1992. The Russian military left Liepaja Port only on August 31, 1994. The port of Liepaja was left with the military heritage of the Soviet Army - 37 partially or completely sunken ships and submarines. Also, metal objects of various sizes can be found in the port area in the Karosta district.

As the port notes, even after the known metal objects have been removed, it will not be completely safe to swim in the waters of the port in Karosta, because the sand can hide other metal objects, which may be exposed due to underwater currents. The Liepaja SEZ administration calls on residents to be responsible, to observe the ban on swimming on the sea coast where warning signs are posted, and to swim in public swimming areas where it is safe to do so.