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.
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.
Peel Ports have been advised by Network Rail that Kingsferry Bridge has an issue (power failure) and cannot lift. The operator has said that engineers are on site but at present have no timescale for rectification.
Peel Ports have issued a reminder to observe the exclusion zones in relation to the Isle of Grain LNG Terminal Jetties in Saltpan Reach. Infringement of the exclusion zones may result in prosecution:
1. When there is no LNG vessel berthed at the LNG Terminal no vessel (including pleasure vessels, PWC’s, fishing boats etc.) shall navigate within that part of the River Medway which is within an arc measuring 150 metres in any direction from the cargo transfer arms at the LNG Terminals. The cargo transfer arms are located at the following approximate position: Terminal No.10 51° 25.9405’N 00° 42.5448’E Terminal No.8 51° 25.9309’N 00° 42.1760’E
2. When there is an LNG vessel moored at the LNG Terminal no vessel (including pleasure vessels, PWC’s, fishing boats etc.) other than those attending the LNG terminal which are authorised by the Harbour Master or the operator of the LNG Terminal, shall enter any part of the River Medway which is within an arc measuring 250 metres (berth exclusion zone) in any direction from the cargo transfer arms of the LNG Terminal.
3. When there is an LNG vessel moored at the LNG terminal, the speed of all passing vessels navigating outside of the berth exclusion zone should not exceed 7.5 knots through the water whilst transiting.
While we’ve all been horrified by the massive explosion that devastated Beirut, Tim Bell from Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club says that we have an even bigger disaster waiting to happen right on our doorstep.
On the wreck of the Richard Montgomery, just off Sheerness, there remain 3632 tons of ordnance, the equivalent of about 1400 tons of TNT. The 2750 tons of ammonium nitrate responsible for the Beirut explosion was as effective as about 1000 tons of TNT. This means that the wreck has considerably more explosive power than the dreadful explosion in Lebanon. It is also thought not all of the 2750 tons actually exploded.
Tim predicts that if one of the bombs from the Montgomery were to end up in the Medway Approach Channel, just yards away, where LNG tankers pass by with little water under their keels, the result could be horrific. He has proposed that the wreck should have a fog horn or a virtual AIS aid to navigation.
Peel Ports have advised of replacement of an overhead power cable across the River Medway between Wouldham Marshes and Halling. The works will take place from around 6 to 27 August 2020. The safety boat ‘CRC Dart’ will stop vessels from passing when the cable pull is taking place.
Peel Ports have published highly detailed charts of the River Medway from the Approach Channel to Rochester Bridge, plus the turning circle in Faversham Creek. The surveys date from 2018 to April 2020 and are mostly limited to the shipping channel.
Peel Ports London Medway is exploring the feasibility of altering the Grain Edge Unlit Buoy to a Lit East Cardinal Lightbuoy (exact light characteristic TBC). The proposal will be subject to a consultation period that will run until 8 July 2020. Comments and queries should be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the consultation period all comments received will be assessed, the Port of Sheerness (as the Local Lighthouse Authority) will make its decision and any proposed change will be promulgated by a further Notice to Mariners.
UUPDATE 27.8.2020 Trinity House has rejected the Peel Ports proposal to replace the green lateral buoy with an East cardinal.
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.