Huge wave swamps boat on Medway

On 28 February the Sheerness inshore lifeboat rescued two men in their 6 metre RIB after it was swamped near the Kingsnorth jetty. A spokesman for Sheerness RNLI said, “The men were actually out in the craft for the first time when they were swamped by a wave which caused total electrical and engine failure.” The boat was towed to Queenborough Harbour.

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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!

Pirates Cave Christmas Event, Thu 1 Dec

pirates-cave-eventSTOP PRESS: “FLARE AMNESTY”

It’s free on a first come, first served basis, with a minimum purchase of £10, or swap with like for like purchase of new flares.
Maximum 10 per person, with maximum capacity of 150 flares.

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.

Acorn Shipyard on Fire

This morning the emergency services were called to a major fire at Acorn Shipyard on the Rochester side of the River Medway. There were reports of gas cylinders exploding. The fire was brought under control by 11.30.

Read more at Kent Online…

Police Marine Unit on anti-terror patrols

Police Marine UnitLast weekend, PCs David Lavender and Ron Murray from the Kent Police Search and Marine Unit took BBC Radio Kent reporter Alex Bish out on their RIB “Seahorse” to show how they look out for terrorists and people smugglers. If you see anything suspicious dial 101 and say Operation Kraken.

Reminder of LNG Terminal Exclusion Zone

Peel Ports have issued a notice reminding mariners to keep 150 metres away from the LNG terminal, or 250 metres from the tanker if one is present. Following recent exclusion zone incursions a number of vessel owners have been educated regarding their failure of navigational and situational awareness. Unauthorised Exclusion Zone Infringements may result in Enforcement Action.

Yachtsman rescued from water in Halstow Creek

The Sheerness Lifeboat team reports that a man clinging for his life to a buoy for two hours in the dark in the Medway Estuary was rescued by a Good Samaritan and Sheerness RNLI lifeboat volunteers. The 64 year old man had transferred from his yacht moored in Halstow Creek to a dinghy which then capsized, leaving him in the perilously cold water alone at night. Eventually the man’s cries for help were heard by someone in a nearby house sparking an emergency 999 call to the Coastguard and a late night launch of Sheerness RNLI’s inshore lifeboat Eleanor at 12.05am on Thursday 19 May.

Within less than half an hour of leaving their beds, the charity’s volunteer crew reached the area at 12.27pm and immediately launched two flares to illuminate the dark night and assist their search. RNLI helmsman Mark Tucker said: ‘We spotted a man in a small rhib type boat next to a mooring buoy who we later learned had been alerted by a phone call saying that cries for help could be heard in the creek.The chap got into his boat and eventually located the casualty in the water where he was clinging to the buoy. Having found the man in the water the Good Samaritan hadn’t been able to get him out and so hung onto him until we arrived on the scene.’

As the lifeboat neared the scene crew member Kris White jumped into the water to support the casualty before getting him aboard the lifeboat with the support of his fellow RNLI crew members. Kris added: ‘It was a pitch black night and the water was extremely cold. The guy was in a bad way. He was so cold he looked blue. We think he had been in the water for two hours. He was lucky he’d been spotted and help came. I don’t know how much longer he could have held on if he’d been alone but the fact that he was wearing his lifejacket undoubtedly saved his life because apart from the extreme cold there was a very strong tide running which would have been impossible to swim against.’

‘This incident goes to show how quickly and unexpectedly things can go wrong, even in a sheltered creek. We’d urge everyone to carry a waterproof means of communication, whether that’s a radio, a mobile phone in a protective pouch or even flares, so that if they find themselves in a similar situation they can call for help.’

The casualty was taken to a nearby slipway where he was handed over to a waiting South East Coast Ambulance Service crew. It is not thought the man’s condition was life threatening.

The ILB crew had earlier been called at 5.55pm on Wednesday 18 May to assist in the recovery of a body found in the water at Strood Pier.

Follow the RNLI Sheerness Lifeboat’s activities on Facebook.

Rochester Old Stone Bridge Inspection and Span Closures

Structural inspection works and span closures will commence on Rochester Old Stone Bridge from 17-23 May 2016. A rope access team will operate on the underside of the Rochester Old Stone Bridge. Only one span will be closed to navigation at any one time.

A closed span will be identified by the suspension of three RED discs at the points of an equilateral triangle with the apex downwards and the base horizontal; by night by three RED lights in a similar position to the discs exhibited by day. The RED discs or lights will be suspended from the centre of the span.

The safety boat ‘Protector’ will be in attendance and will maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch74.