Anchoring in Stangate Creek in the heart of the Medway Estuary, which is a Marine Conservation Zone, is to be prohibited from today, April 1st, following the discovery of several colonies of tentacled lagoon worms Alkmaria romijni. These creatures normally only grow to a few millimetres but in the unique environmental conditions of the creek several specimens have been found up to a metre long hiding in the hitherto unsuspected coral formations. Known until now only to local fishermen, who used to supply the delicacy to the scampi factory in Queenborough, the worms are thought to have arrived on the bottoms of ships quarantined in the creek in the nineteenth century. A spokesman for the harbour authority, now known as Peel Ports London, announced that special worm-friendly moorings for recreational boaters will be installed using funds accumulated over many years from conservancy fees.
Weather permitting, on Wednesday at 0900, two more buildings (the dust precipatators) will be blown up. The 198 metre high chimney will be demolished before the end of this year.
Contractors working on behalf of the Environment Agency have discovered a major structural issue with a large section of lock wall behind the left-hand tail lock gate. This entire section of the lock now requires a complete demolition and full rebuild. This unforeseen work will take a further 12 weeks to complete. It is therefore anticipated that the lock will remain closed until the end of June 2017.
For more detailed information from MRUA see Reply.
For essential maintenance, Kingsferry Bridge will not be lifted on Tuesday 21st March 2017 between 07:45 and 15:12.
Early yesterday morning the Sheerness lifeboat was called to a report of a burning vessel in the Prince’s Channel. On arrival they saw that it was the Princes No 5 buoy in flames, some 7 miles north of Herne Bay.
Medway Yacht Club has offered their Day Skipper Theory Course for £330 with Training Membership for the duration of the course and up to 6 visits afterwards. The course runs from 25 February to the exam on 11 March. There are only a few places left so get in touch with MYC now.
Peel Ports have issued a notice that while they are upograding the radar and CTV system, from the 25 January 2017 until further notice Medway VTS will be without primary radar coverage in Short Reach, Gillingham Reach and Pinup Reach. CCTV will also be temporarily interrupted in this area during the upgrade period.
Interestingly the notice reminds vessels over 40m, with wheelhouse situated aft, that there must be a lookout stationed forward notifying the OOW of other vessel movements. That’s good to know!
Owing to the low pressure system passing over the southern North Sea, the tide at Sheerness is forecast to be three metres over the astronomical prediction at about 9pm this evening. Fortunately this does not coincide with high water. Our friends up the East Coast and over on the Continent may not be so lucky.
The MSBA has been made aware of the return of unacceptable practices by the bridge operators in October.
- Bridge operator not responding to repeated VHF calls on Ch 10 until contacted by Medway VTS.
- Bridge not being raised fully despite assurances given to the MSBA by the previous Senior Regional Operations Manager
- Operator calling boats through when ship approaching from opposite direction
We have filed an official complaint with Network Rail, listing dates and times of incidents, but have had an unsatisfactory reply that does not address these points. Network Rail say the bridge is only being lifted fully for commercial, not recreational, vessels and that the bridge will not be raised more than once per hour. Masts are expected to be lowered when possible.