Trevor Peen

We are sad to announce that Trevor Peen passed away suddenly earlier this month. Trevor was the principal of Medway Watersports Trust and for many years an MYA/MSBA committee member who campaigned tirelessly for safety on the river.

Trevor’s funeral will take place on Wednesday 20th December at 2 pm at Gravesend Crematorium and afterwards at the Medway Cruising Club clubhouse.  All are welcome. No flowers but donations to the RNLI please.

Project Kraken

Peel Ports to clear debris from river today

After numerous complaints about the increased quantity of hazardous floating debris in the upper reaches of the tidal Medway, especially between Aylesford and Allington, we have just been informed by James Goodfellow that Peel Ports will at last be undertaking a river clearance today. Peel Ports have traditionally run regular rubbish clearance operations using the Medway Otter but this elderly vessel has had operational difficulties of late. The debris includes numerous large logs, several gas cylinders and floating rubbish of all kinds. Motor boaters, deterred from using the river for fear of damage to hull and propellers, have been deserting the non-tidal marinas because of the danger of passing this stretch of the river. A major rowing event was cancelled too.

“Bob” goes over board

MOB drillThe MSBA has purchased a life-sized inflatable doll for use of our members. He’s called B-OB (or just Bob for short); you fill him with water and chuck him over the side to practise your person overboard drill. As water has a similar density to a human body, this is far more realistic than the bucket-and-fender that you have may have used for MOB training. It’s surprisingly hard to get Bob, or a real person, back onto your boat so take this opportunity to try out the recovery techniques that you may have to rely on for real one day. Some of the ones you read in magazines just don’t work!

Bob is in the custody of Mark Evans, the Harbour Controller at Queenborough. If your club would like to run a practice session, email Mark at operations(at)queenborough-harbour.co.uk to arrange a mutually convenient collection.

Oyster trestles obstruct navigation at Whitstable

Following a complaint by Whitstable Yacht Club, a report published on the Marine Management Organisation’s website acknowledges that the presence of oyster trestles causes or is likely to cause obstruction or danger to navigation, whilst concluding that the farm’s operations are nevertheless acceptable as a low risk to marine navigation.

In response, the RYA has formally written to the Director of Marine Licensing at the MMO setting out their concerns with the report and arguing that the measures put in place since the investigation started do not negate the need for a marine licence. The RYA considers that these trestles require a full marine licence on the basis that they could cause obstruction or danger to navigation.

Read more on RYA website…

Huge Fire at Iron Wharf, Faversham

Fire at Faversham

Photo Dan Salter

In the early hours of this morning, a huge blaze has destroyed eight boats, three cabins and a workshop at Iron Wharf, Faversham.

UPDATE: A 30 year old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson.

Read more at Kent Online…

CA Relaunches Lobster Pot Campaign

Poorly marked lobster pots and fishing gear are the most difficult and unpredictable hazard facing coastal cruising people. Fishermen, too, report the loss of expensive gear as a result of entanglements. These encounters could even be life-threatening. In one year alone the RNLI dealt with 295 incidents of fouled propellers. Most Cruising Association members say they would try to sort the problem out themselves so this could be a fraction of the actual number. One lifeboat station said 25% of their call-outs were purely from boats caught up in fishing gear.

Sign the Government petition here

Lower Halstow YC to feature in TV series about the RNLI

The Sheerness Inshore Lifeboat carrying out a rescue at Lower Halstow YC will feature in a TV series on BBC2 starting on Wednesday 16 August at 8pm. Saving Lives At Sea tells the story of the volunteer lifeboat crews and lifeguards of the RNLI who rescue thousands of people and save hundreds of lives around our coastline and on the River Thames every year.

Rochester Pier closures, 15 and 21 July

On Sat 15 July and Fri 21 July Medway Council will be using Rochester Pier for fireworks: 15 July for Castle Concert Proms, 21 July for Medway Mile. For safety reasons access will not be allowed from 10am each morning for a 24hr period.

Garrison Point Traffic Warning Light no longer working

Peel Ports advise that the Traffic Warning Light on top of the Garrison Point Fort is no longer operative. It was a bright white light that flashed every seven seconds by day and night to warn of large (>130 metres LOA) vessels underway in the buoyed channel as follows:

  • When such a vessel was inward bound between the Medway Buoy and Darnett Ness the light shone in an upriver direction.
  • When such a vessel was outward bound between Darnett Ness and the Medway Buoy the light shone in a seaward direction.