The story of the “graveyard of ships” abandoned in Guanabara Bay, in Brazil, in the region of Rio de Janeiro (connected to the collision against the Niteroi bridge last November), is updated with important news: the port authorities of the administrative region of Rio have in fact decided to proceed with the removal of five boats, some real carcasses. The operation, which began on 29 June last, should be concluded shortly. These are five boats stranded near the Isle of Conception, near a quay used to unload fish.
The Rio-Niteroi Bridge, spanning Guanabara Bay
In reality, it must be said that the government in Rio – as reported by CNN Brasil – had already established last May, thanks to the intervention of a specific task force, that they would removed more than 50 boats adrift (out of a total of tens and tens). The interventions, according to forecasts, should have been completed by the end of the semester. The news of the last few weeks confirms the good intentions of the local government to resolve a now intolerable situation, whose environmental, safety and decorum implications are too serious not to be addressed. The Niterói Municipality, the State Environment Institute and the State Secretariat of Environment and Sustainability contributed to the survey.
A scenario of environmental pollution, that of the Bay, which had aroused the concerns of various Brazilian environmental associations, as well as the competent authorities, which however had not yet had the tools to proceed with a remediation. Apart from the boats without properties, in fact, the procedures have been slowed down by the identification of the owners of these carcasses of the sea, left to their fate floating in the waters of the Bay, albeit near the piers of the various port structures present there. In individual cases, in fact, the vessels no longer have a direct owner, as there are some abandoned for more than a decade.
One of the stretches of the Bay most “haunted” by ships: the San Lorenzo Canal
It was precisely the incident last November, when a ship had impacted with the Niteroi bridge (which connects Rio to the latter city, both bathed by the waters of the Bay), without however causing more serious consequences, that set off a census and an in-depth analysis of the situation, above all to quantify the extent of the “maritime cemetery”. Among the various problematic issues, the cumbersome presence of dozens of boats in the Bay represents an obstacle for navigation and for the work of fishermen.