Kayaker missing on the River Medway – man named

Emergency services were called out last night after the family of a 46-year-old Londoner reported him missing and an empty kayak was found by the inshore lifeboat drifting on the River Medway. A Coastguard spokesman said: “Despite an intensive search from Rochester to the Kingsnorth Power Station we have been unable to locate the missing kayaker.”

FURTHER UPDATE: The kayaker has been named as Dale Vivian, general manager of a company based on the Medway City Estate. A post portem revealed he died of natural causes.

Read more at Kent Online…

Yalding loo block opens

Yalding loo blockThose of us who venture up to the non-tidal Medway will be relieved to learn that the long awaited toilet and shower block at Yalding is now open. The facilities block has been built with volunteer labour and materials donated by generous sponsors.

Pictured here is Medway River Users Association chairman Mark Smurthwaite and the Head of the EA at the opening ceremony. Pictures of what followed are too graphic to show…

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Medway Council rejects petition to improve public slipway

A petition, led by Trevor Peen of Medway Waterports Centre, to repair the last remaining public slipway and access road at Commodore’s Hard, Gillingham, has been rejected by Medway Council. Robin Cooper, the Council’s Director of Regeneration, Community and Culture, stated that the slipway had been recently cleared of mud and was in as good condition as the Harty Ferry slipway on the Isle of Sheppey. Trevor says he will appeal on the grounds that the petition has not been dealt with properly.

Commodore’s Hard is used to access the river by neighbouring sailing clubs, rowers, canoeists, dinghy sailors, sea scouts and other youth organisations.

Petition: Improving access to the River Medway

Please download the petition, print it, and get signatures from your club or organisation.

“We the undersigned call on Medway Council to improve access to the River Medway at the Strand in Gillingham. The condition of the slipway at the Strand, known as Commodore’s Hard, has deteriorated in recent years due to lack of maintenance. The edges of the slipway have broken away, making it increasingly difficult and dangerous to use. Until now it has been recognised as an excellent, all-tide access point and is well used by Medway Cruising Club, Medway Watersports, Rowing Clubs, Childrens Charities, Sea Scouts and individual residents. But we are in danger of completely losing this facility. The Council-owned access road leading up to Commodore’s Hard has also been neglected and is full of potholes which need attention. We urge Medway Council to help achieve its aim of “Making better use of the River Medway” by making permanent, extensive repairs to Commodore’s Hard and resurfacing the access road leading to it”

Trevor Peen hopes to submit the petition to the November council meeting. Please return the petition to Medway Watersports, Approach Road, The Strand, Gillingham, ME7 1TT