Kingsferry Bridge closed to leisure craft 24+25 Oct

Peel Ports advise that television filming work is due to take place on and around the Kingsferry Bridge over the weekend of 24/25 October 2020. The filming will require navigational restrictions to be imposed on the river adjacent to and either side of the bridge for two specified periods. Whilst work is underway an exclusion zone will be established and policed by three GPS Marine vessels who will prevent any craft from entering the area. The GPS Vincia and crane barge RODMA will be stationed north of the bridge and the Felucca will be south side, both vessels will be assisted by a GPS Marine RIB, all craft will maintain a listening watch on VHF channel 74.
Network Rail will also be conducting engineering work on the bridge from 00:01 to 12:00 on Sunday 25th October.
Restrictions will be as follows:
24.10.2020 – 12:00 to 23:59 – No leisure craft access or transit through KFB, essential commercial vessel transits may be considered.
25.10.2020 – 00:01 to 23:59 – No leisure craft access or transit through KFB, essential commercial vessel transits may be considered.

Rochester Rail Bridge inspections, 11 Oct

Peel Ports advise that on 11 October 2020 from 0800 to 1800 there will be an inspection of the Rochester Rail Bridge structure which will cause some disruption to river traffic. The bridge investigation work will be carried out by rope access teams and will be completed in two stages. Span closures will be imposed whilst inspections are underway and two safety boats will be deployed beneath operational areas to police traffic, the safety craft will be monitoring VHF channel 74 at all times.

Your Brexit questions answered, 2 Oct

Howard Pridding (RYA Director of External Affairs) and Stuart Carruthers (RYA Cruising Manager) will give an online presentation from 7.30 pm on Friday 2 October, with opportunity for questions. Registration is required and attendance is free. We hope it will help to clarify things for boaters about 2021 and beyond.  Register at www.ryabrexitforum2020.eventbrite.co.uk

The online forum is in lieu of a face to face forum, which is now not possible following the latest government stipulations about meeting only in groups of 6. The forum is specifically being offered for boaters in the RYA London and SE region, but will be opened up to others if numbers permit. There is a limit of about 250.

Have your say on the future of red diesel

HMRC is seeking information about the proposed changes to the rules surrounding the uses of red diesel. During the Budget the Chancellor shared plans for the intended removal of entitlement to use red diesel from April 2022, except for the agriculture sector (including forestry, horticulture and fish farming), railways, and where red diesel is used to power non-commercial heating systems, such as in homes, narrowboats and places of worship.   

The consultation has now been launched by Government and seeks to gather evidence as to whether other sectors, including recreational boating, should be allowed to maintain use of the fuel beyond April 2022.  The RYA’s case for retaining red diesel is about existing supply needs, not colour, tax status or price. Recreational boaters already pay the full rate of duty and VAT when purchasing fuel for the purposes of propulsion.

The RYA will therefore be looking at the proposals to reform the tax treatment of red diesel closely to see how this might affect the supply of fuel for recreational use for both propulsion and how it will impact supply for domestic usage such as heating. The further west and north you travel in the UK the more likely it is that you will have to rely on waterside outlets that only supply red diesel for commercial purposes, such as to fishing fleets. In many places, some remote, the limited quantities of fuel used by recreational craft do not warrant the cost of installing additional equipment to supply white diesel for the recreational boating sector.

If the Government removes the entitlement to use red diesel from most sectors from April 2022 and white diesel is consequently made as widely available as red diesel is now, then supply of fuel will not be affected. The RYA will be responding to this call for evidence and urges users of diesel propelled craft, particularly private pleasure craft, and those involved in the supply of fuel to UK craft to participate in the consultation.

To have your say on the future of red diesel please click here. 

The consultation closes at 11.45pm on 1 October 2020. 

To read more about the RYA’s lobbying developments with red diesel please click here. If you have any questions regarding red diesel or any other current affair issues please visit the Current Affairs page on the RYA website or email cruising@rya.org.uk

Dick Holness live, Fri 5 June 6pm

Imray Live with Dick Holness, Friday 5 June 1800 BST

Dick Holness, co-author of East Coast Pilot, will talk you through the founding of this well loved guide to the waters of England’s east coast from Great Yarmouth to Ramsgate. You’ll hear about what’s involved with putting it together, the update process and the running of the website. And you’ll find out who John Goode is too! 

Join the Q&A and share your thoughts, questions and feedback in the Comments section. 

Visit Imray’s Facebook page for more details and to join the event

Anger at boats anchoring overnight

Local “ditch crawler” Nick Ardley has expressed anger at the two dozen boats anchored overnight in Stangate Creek at the bank holiday weekend and has written to Kelly Tolhurst, the Shipping Minister and MSBA Patron. He points out that the current law is clear that we must all return to our homes overnight and not stay in caravans, second home or boats. He concedes that, while being in a boat is a perfect way to self isolate, the law is clear. The RYA has published a guide to help us understand how it applies to boating:

Obstruction in Bridge Reach (Updated 28 May) – GONE

Peel Ports have issued a notice to mariners warning of an obstruction with only a foot of water over it, right in the middle of the river by the Russian submarine. The survey team and divers say it seems to be a sunken boat.

“During a recent hydrographic survey of the Port of Rochester an unknown obstruction, possibly a wreck, has been identified in Bridge Reach. The obstruction is marked with an unlit, yellow ‘can’ buoy denoted “Wreck”. The depth above the obstruction at chart datum is approx. 0.3m. Mariners transiting Bridge Reach should navigate with extreme caution. When available, divers will be deployed to ascertain the nature of the object which will assist with the Port Authority’s subsequent actions.”

Buoys marking the wreck

UPDATE: 7.5.2020 (Notice to Mariners 23/2020)

“Diving operations are due to take place in Bridge Reach, Port of Rochester to ascertain the nature of an unknown submerged obstruction. Dive works are planned for Wednesday 13th May 2020 will be carried out over the morning low water period. The dive team will be working from the Briggs Marine vessel “Forth Linesman”, who will be monitoring VHF Channel 74 at all times. All passing vessels are required to navigate with extreme caution and minimise their wash. Diving is expected to be concentrated around the following approximate position: 51 23’.72 N – 000 30’.34 E”

UPDATE 22.5.2020 (Notice to Mariners 23/2020)

Diving operations are due to take place in Bridge Reach, Port of Rochester to remove a submerged obstruction confirmed during previous dive ops. Dive works are planned for Thursday and Friday 28th / 29th May 2020 and will be carried out over the late morning low water periods. The dive team will be working from the Briggs Marine vessel “Forth Linesman”, who will be monitoring VHF Channel 74 at all times. All passing vessels are required to navigate with extreme caution and minimise their wash.

UPDATED 28.5.2020

Due to technical issues with salvage craft the planned diving operation detailed above is postponed until further notice. An update to this notice will be issued as soon as new dates are confirmed.

UPDATED 01.6.2020

The 7 metre powerboat with outboard still attached has now been lifted and the warning buoys removed.