Lifeboat searches for lone sailor in Medway Estuary

The volunteer crew of the Sheerness inshore lifeboat Eleanor’ were called at 4.15pm on Monday 3 August to the assistance of the 23 foot craft ‘Serendipity’ with one man on board, reportedly aground off Bartlett Creek, which is in the Lower Rainham area of the River Medway. The ILB arrived at the reported area but could find no trace of the casualty. A search of the area up to Kingsnorth was made, again with no result. The search was then expanded to the areas of Stangate and Sharfleet Creeks. The casualty was eventually found ‘hard aground’ on Slayhill Marsh, a remote area between Lower Halstow and the Sheppey Crossing – a long way from the first reported position.

The crew of the ILB secured an anchor to the craft and the owner was then brought ashore to the safety of the lifeboat station at Sheerness. Lifeboat coxswain Robin Castle said, “the craft was left high and dry on a mud bank and will be very difficult to re-float. The Medway mud gets everywhere.” After a thorough clean, the ILB and crew were ready for service again at 6.30pm.

Swale Smack & Sailing Barge Match, Sat 8 August

Swale Smack & Sailing Barge MatchFor the 43rd year, the Kentish Sail Association (affiliated to the RYA) presents “probably the largest traditional boat gathering on the East Coast.”

For more details visit

Hoo Island to receive massive quantities of soil

Hoo IslandAnyone passing Hoo Island will have noticed the earth moving machines and lorries. It has emerged that Peel Ports have arranged to accept massive quantities of spoil material from works to replace London’s Victorian water mains system. The island is a registered landfill site and was used by the naval dockyard and the port authority for all kinds of unwanted material. In a somewhat confusing press release from Thames Water, it is claimed that migrating and nesting birds on the “bird island” will be safe from foxes and cats. The spoil is being brought by barge rather than lorry, reducing congestion on our roads. Moreover, and not least, Thames Water will save huge amounts of money by not having to pay landfill tax. Read more…

Tug Touchstone hosts Hoo Ness YC raft-up

Tug Touchstone and Hoo Ness Yacht Club

Photo by Gordon Pickett

Some of the most enjoyable, interesting and satisfying boating events happen when one MSBA club or group helps another. For the third year running, the crew of the veteran tug Touchstone hosted a floating barbeque and party for crews from Hoo Ness Yacht Club. Most of the nine sailing boats, half of them multihulls, had raced down to Stangate Creek on Saturday and raced back up the river on Sunday morning.

Cabin cruiser collides with car carrier

Sheerness lifeboat crew assisted a cabin cruiser that had drifted and collided with a bulk car carrier moored at Sheerness docks. The crew of the Sheerness inshore lifeboat ‘Eleanor’ were called at 4 am on Saturday 1 August to the assistance of a 27 ft cabin cruiser with two men and and a youth on board. The craft, which had been moored in one of the many creeks in the Estuary, had apparently dragged its anchor on the strong ebb tide and drifted downstream where it collided with a very large bulk car carrier moored at Sheerness Docks. The crew suffered cuts and grazes to their legs and feet from broken glass when the windows of their craft were smashed on impact. The  lifeboat crew administered casualty care to the three persons and then escorted the craft to the safety of Queenborough Harbour.

Sunken tug near Cuxton

Sunken tug

Peel Ports have issued Notice to Mariners No 21 of 2015 concerning a sunken 20 metre tug boat lying awash adjacent to “Trenchmans Wharf ” Cuxton. Only the mast of the sunken vessel is visible at high tide. All vessels should navigate with care and caution in the vicinity.

Pump House to become Distillery

pumphousePlanning permission has been granted for Russell Distillers to turn Pump House No.5 at Chatham Maritime into a distillery producing a range of spirits: premium vodka, gin and whisky. The Grade II listed Victorian building was used to pump water out of the docks. It will become one of the last of Chatham’s naval dockyard buildings to be brought back to use. Read more…

Seal spotted at Allington Lock

seal at AllingtonThis young fellow was seen resting on the frame of the sluice gate of the weir adjacent to the lock. Another seal was seen in 2008 swimming as far up as East Farleigh lock, apparently going back and forth freely through the sluice gates at high tide. Read more…

Faversham Creek Dinghy Race

Faversham dinghy raceSix dinghies started but only four finished the two laps and the winners were Alan Staley for the Traditionalists and Helen North for the Bermudans. Worries about whether the tide would make enough water were overcome by just launching them in anyway, the breeze overcoming any resistance of the mud. Read more…

Honda Challenge, Sat 1 August

For the second year running Medway Yacht Club is hosting the SE Regional Finals of the Honda RYA Youth RIB Championships, sponsored by Gillingham Marina. Further details…