Dredges and floods

Hi Folks

See that last weather bomb claimed a dredge or two. Plus bits and pieces. So from an old dredger, what can you do to try and mitigate a float away or lost equipment. Well the obvious is have a long strong rope on it. And tie it to the biggest tree you can find. Things get a little complicated if there ain’t no tree’s around. So you have to make an anchor point. Build a bloody huge cairn of the biggest rocks you can find, right on top of your anchor. Or get a piece of old commercial fishing net, and fill that with bloody great rocks, and use that as an anchor point.

I was a tree man. Every time I left my dredge overnight in the river. The hose would come off, and be put onto the sluice, then tied to the frame. Both our weight belts were also put on the sluice. This raises the nose which is a must. You all know that a dredge will be nose down, until you get water on it. Due to the weight up front.

Along comes a flash flood and your nose down dredge will turn into a porpoise, even more so with the hose attached. It will then turn turtle, creating even more drag. Until something has to give. And away it goes. I practiced risk management eeven if the forcast was for fine weather. These bombs can turn up anytime, they are unpredictable.

I used to follow the Australian Bureau of meteorology, BOM for short.
You can see there well out what is coming, right over into the Indian Ocean on Aussie East Coast. That weather will eventually get here. Esp in summer. When bugga all front come up from the south. Just google BOM and navigate your way around it, you will find all you need there.
Suffice to say I never had a floater.(Except in the loo lol) nor lost any gear. I’m not a know all. Just passing on what worked for me.

Cheers Trev aka “The Mad Hatter”


Top advice Trev…that was our practice too, and we survived a few Nevis thunder storms.


I’ve heard it’s always good to have two ropes attached with plenty of slack. The slack gives the dredge plenty of play when it’s riding the water, letting it push the dredge off to the side into slack water.

I believe that’s the theory anyway, not something I’ve had too much practice with so far being a fair weather dredger who doesn’t get out as much as I’d like.

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Not from tying down dredges, but from tying down boats and land-based equipment in many cyclones, piggy-backing land anchors is a good solution wherever there is enough dirt / sand to allow digging in. Just make sure that the weakest link of the whole anchoring system is strong enough to survive the strains.

The most important thing I have found when tying a dredge off to keep it safe in a flood is to tie the main rope on the outside tie off point at the front of your dredge this rope is made the shortest then a second safety rope tied in the middle this rope is made a little longer so when the tension comes on the outside rope takes the load this way the dredge will always hunt in toward the bank. If the dredge is tied off on the inside front it will hunt out into the river and is more likely to be hit by debris coming down the river. If the safety rope in the middle is shorter than the outside rope the dredge will hunt all over the place back and forth in the flooded rivers flow.