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Danube River transport resumes

SHIPPING on the Danube River between Bratislava and Komárno resumed on February 20 after almost a month's break. Shipping had officially been halted since January 24 because of ice and low water levels.

photo: TASR

SHIPPING on the Danube River between Bratislava and Komárno resumed on February 20 after almost a month's break. Shipping had officially been halted since January 24 because of ice and low water levels. The last time the Danube had to be closed due to an arctic winter was ten years ago. Ján Juria of the State Shipping Administration in Bratislava said that conditions have improved as melting snow raises the river level. He also added that an icebreaker from Hungary had cleared the whole shipping corridor above Gabčíkovo chambers of ice. In general, shipping and dock operations have been getting back to normal, SITA news agency wrote. The first vessels to pass this section of the Danube were the icebreaker Brezno and the Austrian tugboat Meister, which had been trapped below Gabčíkovo Dam since the end of January.

Several other ships: the Hron, the Magura, the Spiš, the Šariš, the Muflon-9 and the Orava left Bratislava for Austria and Germany. A ship called the Muflon-7 headed for Komárno, while the cargo-ship Váh sailed from Komárno wharf to Bratislava. Slovakia, as much of Europe, recently experienced a cold spell that brought record-breaking sub-zero temperatures. Ice on the Danube was as much as twenty centimetres thick in some places, making it necessary to clear the ice on Čunovo Dam four times per day.

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