A massive campaign to clean up Paris's River Seine is underway, and a new, modern,river barge was commissioned on Wednesday (12 May) to help in the operation.
A massive campaign to clean up Paris's River Seine is underway, and a new, modern,river barge was commissioned on Wednesday (12 May) to help in the operation. It has specifically designed to collect the rubbish and oil floating on the river surface in the French capital.
SYNOPSIS: The barge cost about GBP150,000 (sterling) and was paid for jointly by Paris City Authorities, the Port of Paris and the Finance Agency of the Seine Normandy Basin.
Among the officials at the commissioning was Paris's new Mayor, Jacques Chirac. During his election campaign he pledged to rejuvenate the Seine as the English had done to the Thames.
The barge was built in Concern in Brittany. It's a catamaran type with two hulls, and is capable of cruising at 15 kilometres (six knots) an hour, sucking up rubbish as it goes.
The debris and oil is stored in containers which are later loaded on to a truck by a crane installed on the front of the boat.
Another boat is to work in conjunction with the barge, charting the bottom of the river. A particular feature of that one is its manoeuvrability.
The cleaning barge has been named 'Silure', which is the name of a fresh-water fish. It's also equipped with radar and an electric pump, and fire hose. The two boats have a major role to play in keeping the river clean - and, in turn, keeping happy the thousands of tourists who cruise on the Seine each year.