A new pier constructed at the border town of Narva-Jõesuu provides better safety options, and better conditions for rescue personnel, ETV news show 'Aktuaalne kaamera' (AK) reported Monday night.
Since Narva-Jõesuu lies on the Estonian-Russian border, the pier and the adjacent slipway double up as a border cordon.
The pier is several meters higher than its predecessor and can still be used when the water level rises rapidly, a quite common occurrence at the mouth of the Narva River (Narva-Jõesuu literally means mouth of the Narva River – ed.). Previously, rescue workers had to relocate further ashore when water levels rose.
Police and Board Guard Board (PPA) eastern prefecture chief Tarvo Kruup said: "The Narva River is very insidious, especially here at its mouth. Flow is very rapid, and it has and a lot of vortices. A few years ago, four people died right here at the pier."
The facility is being built more with bathers and others on the river for recreational purposes – Narva-Jõesuu is a resort town – rather than a fear of illegal border crossings, which are rare at that location, ERR reported, and allow better search and rescue options than before.
The upgrade, together with work done at Vasknarva, on Peipsi järv, where the Narva River originates and Kulgu, at Narva itself and on the shore of the reservoir - through which the river also flows - cost close to a million euros, AK reported.
Kruup added that smaller vessels can be launched from the slipway, while overall, there are more maritime rescue resources – from the PPA, the Rescue Board (Päästeamet) or from among volunteers, than was earlier the case, he said.
Editor: Andrew Whyte