Peel Ports have permanently removed mooring buoy numbers 22 and 24 in Kethole Reach. Number 23 remains but that’s two less nasty unlit hazards to avoid in the dark.
Following Storm Dennis last weekend, this derelict yacht that has been on the Peel Ports moorings at Borstal is believed to have sunk along with the two buoys to which it was attached. The resident family of cormorants have now lost heir home. Mariners passing between Medway Towns Rowing Club and Medway Bridge Marina should take care especially at low water.
Network Rail have told us that, while work is being carried out to reinstate the power at Kingsferry Bridge, the bridge can only be lifted when there is a fitter on site, which is usually from 6am to 6pm Monday to Friday. Outside these hours, leisure craft will only be allowed through with commercial vessels. Because of the compromised state of the equipment at the bridge, the risk of failure is higher than normal. Failure would result in the closure of the bridge to trains, road vehicles and prevent it being lifted. If a fitter is on site, it can be reinstated quicker than if an on-call fitter must be called in.
Effectively then, Kingsferry Bridge will be out of action for the next three weekends and only available from 06:00 to 18:00 Monday to Friday.
Following a recent report of the bridge operator refusing to lift for a yacht returning from Conyer to the Medway, the MSBA has sought clarification from Peel Ports. The bridge still has a problem with the main switch gear requiring a generator to be stationed on the A249 to enable lifts. Railtrack say they are “working hard” to source new parts to fix it, which is proving difficult. They have reduced the number of lifts to a minimum and are only allowing yachts through when there are shipping movements. We are told that commercial shipping takes priority.
UPDATE 6.2.2020: Network Rail expect to have the replacement switch gear in place within six weeks, possibly even sooner, so the emergency generator will no longer be needed. In the meantime boaters should check with the bridge operator on VHF channel 10, or Medway VTS on Channel 74, when the next bridge lift is expected to take place.
Derek Meadows has sent us this photo of what remains of the notorious “pirate ship” Revenge, which mysteriously burnt after coming adrift in Faversham Creek. The steel structure is only held on by the stern. Derek fears that the wreck may topple and block the narrow navigable channel. He has contacted Peel Ports with his concerns but not yet had a reply.
The sign collapsed on 20 January. This video, captured from the MSBA CCTV camera, reveals what really happened.
Adam Taylor of Medway Council tells us that a new sign will be erected very soon.
Peel Ports have advised that a craft work cradle/tray has sunk at the downstream end of Chatham Maritime Marina holding pontoon. The object is approximately 22m in length and is not visible at any state of the tide. The wreck has been marked with an orange pellet buoy, the owner is aware and will be dealing with the situation. Mariners should navigate with caution due to this submerged danger to navigation until further notice.
Note that the Chatham Marina lock is closed for annual maintenance until 26 January.
UPDATE 22.1.2010 The submerged obstruction has now been raised and is secured alongside at the Chatham Maritime Marina waiting pontoon. The owner will be moving it back to his yard over the next few days.
This motor cruiser called Lucille was found drifting off Chatham Historic Dockyard and was secured by a thoughtful boater yesterday. If you are the owner please contact Medway VTS and let them know. Also please email email@example.com so we can put you in touch with the person who rescued the vessel.
UPDATE 28.12.2019: This boat was moored to Thunderbolt Pier without permission for many weeks and was still tied up there on Boxing Day. The Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust attached a notice requiring the boat to be removed by a date in early January. Now it appears to be someone else’s problem…
UPDATE 1.1.2020: The owner has come forward claiming the boat was stolen and damaged. Peel Ports are moving Lucille from the RNSA mooring to a commercial mooring where it can be monitored by CCTV.
The MSBA has published a third edition of the Medway and Swale Visitor Charts. This time Gavin had the brainwave of including visitor moorings, slipways and fuel berths in addition to general updating.
What’s more, Peel Ports London Medway (yes really) have just published Official 2020 Tide Tables for Sheerness and Chatham. Print them off and don’t forget to add an hour for BST come next summer.
Find these and other useful free stuff on our Downloads Page
As long suspected, Peel Land & Property have revealed that Chatham Docks will close in 2025 for redevelopment into housing, retail, tourism and leisure. Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst has expressed concern at the potential loss of up to 800 jobs at the docks that have been the centre of Chatham’s economic activity for hundreds of years. Peel have not yet responded to the MP’s request for a meeting. The privately-owned Peel Group makes no secret that their business is primarily about highly profitable property development at the many old docks and harbours that they have acquired. Dave Harris of Medway Council is reported to have said, “It is a landowner’s decision as to whether existing use of a site continues and the local authority has no control over this.”