The people of Faversham have voted by a large majority for the Creek Neighbourhood Plan, which was a condition by Swale Borough Council for the release of £200,000 to restore the swing bridge at the head of the Creek. Opening the bridge will enable regeneration of the Creek Basin, with wharves and dredging, to improve navigability along the Creek, increase tourism and make the area a great place for residents too.
On Sunday afternoon, 9 April, a man fell about 10 feet onto another crew member from the mast of a yacht moored in Gillingham Reach. While the injured man was given oxygen, the Sheerness Inshore Lifeboat fetched a paramedic from an ambulance waiting at Gillingham Marina and then transferred him ashore. We understand the man suffered broken ribs.
There were two jet skis and eight personal watercraft (PWCs) in the area at the time and some of these were creating a lot of wash which was a nuisance and hazard to youngsters being trained in dinghy sailing at the Strand. The speed limit here is 6 knots (approx 7mph). Trevor Peen, a director of Medway Watersports, radioed Medway VTS to report this activity but could not get a response. When he called by phone he was told there was nothing they could do.
Mr Peen said, “I have campaigned for several years for parties to manage this situation, which gets worse every year to the point that these PWCs can achieve speeds in excess of 50 mph. During the afternoon I overheard a call on the VHF that there was an incident 1 mile east of the marina. It just so happens that I also belong to the Medway Cruising Club where these moorings are, so I know the area well. I went down to slow traffic down in the river as someone had fallen from a mast, I was told by the people on the boat that three speeding PWCs had created so much wash that the guy fell from the mast.”
Mr Peen added, “Three years ago when there was an incident that involved these craft on a jetty at Gillingham Marina, I was interviewed by BBC South east. I said that until someone dies here then nothing will be done. I have reported these incidents so often including photos. Please don’t let someone’s son or daughter die at the Strand.”
Derek Zobel of Wilsonian SC asked us to share details of the Icom Regatta pack as advertised in RYA Wavelength publication – Annual review 2016 – page 17. This is suitable for clubs that wish to provide regatta officials with handheld VHF radios for an event.
At the Wayfarer Nationals in June, dinghies jostle for position at the MSBA race buoy. If your club wants to use one or both of the MSBA racing buoys please contact Gavin Parson at secretary (at) msba.org.uk
The annual Nore Race was held on Sunday, organised by Benfleet Yacht Club. The 17 nautical mile course in the Thames Estuary attracted a hundred sailing dinghies and cruisers, including multihulls, many from the Medway and Swale.
The Blackstakes buoy on the south side of Saltpan Reach, near Deadman’s Island, mysteriously disappeared a week or so ago. This led to some creative real-time race management for clubs that use it as a racing mark. However we are pleased to announce that the buoy has now reappeared, freshly painted in yellow and black.
Peel Ports has published an Updated List of Events of which they have been notified. Clubs and Organisations are obliged to notify Peel Ports of organised events taking place on the river such as races and regattas. From this list it would seem that only two or three clubs have done so.
Also, please remember that your club may borrow the two inflatable MSBA race marks (see photo) for races or other events.