Delay to opening of East Farleigh lock

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.

Kingsferry Bridge Closure, 21 March 2017

For essential maintenance, Kingsferry Bridge will not be lifted on Tuesday 21st March 2017 between 07:45 and 15:12.

NtoM No 12 of 2017 – Kingsferry Bridge Closure

Sheerness lifeboat attends burning buoy

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.

Read more on the Sheerness Lifeboat’s Facebook page…

Day Skipper Course, £330 at Medway YC

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.

Further details on MYC website…

Medway VTS Update

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.

NtoM No 08 of 2017 – Medway VTS Update

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!

3 metre storm surge tonight

Storm surgeOwing 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.

Kingsferry Bridge problems return

The MSBA has been made aware of the return of unacceptable practices by the bridge operators in October.

  1. Bridge operator not responding to repeated VHF calls on Ch 10 until contacted by Medway VTS.
  2. Bridge not being raised fully despite assurances given to the MSBA by the previous Senior Regional Operations Manager
  3. 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.

Pirate Ship aground in the Swale

pirate-ship-at-faversham-creekThe “pirate ship” which blocked Sun Pier for weeks in the summer left Rochester Riverside on Sunday afternoon and ran aground this morning at the entrance to Faversham Creek, resulting in a lifeboat callout. Coincidentally, today is Talk Like a Pirate Day.

Read more at Kent Online…

Car drives off Gillingham Pier

This afternoon a white Ford Fiesta sped along Gillingham Pier, past the Medway Queen, and smashed through the railings before sinking at the edge of the approach channel for Chatham Docks. The 31-year-old driver swam ashore and was arrested for drink driving. The sunken car will be investigated tomorrow. Meanwhile Peel Ports has advised mariners to navigate with caution.

Read more and see video at Kent Online…

MSBA Patron demolishes Grain Chimney

Kelly Tolhurst MP, patron of the Medway and Swale Boating Association, today pressed the button to detonate the 244 metre Grain Power Station chimney.

Read more and see video taken from the Meridian TV helicopter…