It’s getting worse! Please report all PWC incidents

Although many owners of personal watercraft (PWCs or jetskis) are responsible, anyone can see reckless and irresponsible behaviour almost any day on the Medway and the Swale. These craft are usually launched from Commodore’s Hard at Gillingham, where the MSBA has installed a high definition camera (see video above), or near Kingsferry Bridge on the Swale, where jetskiers have regularly tried to sink small craft on the boat club moorings presumably for fun. There have been several life-threatening incidents but the perpetrators are invariably abusive when challenged. At Gillingham the Medway Watersports Centre has had to cancel youth activities because of the jetskiers’ apparently drunken and dangerous behaviour. Peel Ports, as the statutory harbour authority, have a duty to enforce the bye-laws but will not do so unless we report all incidents. Please download the form below and use it to report ALL incidents to the MSBA and we will pass them on to Peel Ports.  Email your reports to secretary@msba.org.uk

Peel Ports PWC incident form

Keep 800 yards NW of Montgomery wreck buoys

To clarify the previous article on our website, Peel Ports Notice to Mariners No 20 of 2018 warns us to stay at least 4 cables (approx 800 yards) to the north west of the restricted area marked by the yellow danger buoys around the Montomery wreck until 1st June 2019 (i.e. next year), as shown on this chartlet. The red star shows the location of the oceanographic recording equipment, which is only marked by three small red floats.

Clubs and organisations which hold races and other events that go round the wreck, such as the Admiral’s Cruise, may need to find an alternative turning mark.

Avoid Montgomery wreck

From 23 May 2018 to 1June 2019 oceanographic recording equipment will be placed on the seabed just NW of the Wreck Exclusion Zone.

The equipment consists of a seabed Lander marked by 3 red buoys and deployed NW of the Wreck Exclusion Zone for the entire period.

Mariners are requested to keep a minimum of 4 cables clear of the exclusion zone marked by the permanent yellow buoys.

Police chase PWCs

John Wall took a video of the police RIB chasing the PWCs up the Medway on 28 April. There is a 6 knot speed limit upstream of Folly Point and the wash from speeding vessels is a danger to boaters in dinghies going to their moorings. The MSBA has a CCTV camera at Gillingham Strand, where the PWCs are usually launched, to monitor antisocial and irresponsible activities on the river.

Medway VTS to relocate to Liverpool on 1 May

It’s official! Medway Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) will relocate to Group Port Control Centre (GPCC) on 1 May 2018. Medway VTS is a Traffic Organisation Service (TOS), as defined in IMO Resolution A.857 (20). There will be no change to the TOS status of Medway VTS upon relocation. Medway VTS will continue to be available on VHF Channel 74 and by telephone on (0151) 949 6656.

Peter’s Bridge (between Halling and Snodland) UPDATED 16 March

Peel Ports advise that the planned bridge inspection for  5-8 March 2018 has been POSTPONED FURTHER until 26-29 March. This inspection will be undertaken by KCC contractor and will involve the use of a moving gantry to inspect the underside. Mariners are warned that the use of this equipment will restrict the available clearance. A watch will be maintained throughout the operation and the gantry will be moved to one side to allow the passage of vessels. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74 or telephone 0151 949 6656.

Kingsnorth Chimney demolition, NOW 22 March

Peel Ports advise that on 22 March 2018 the main chimney at Kingsnorth Power Station will be demolished by controlled explosion. An exclusion zone, patrolled by the harbourmaster’s launch WESTBOURNE and by the Marine Police Unit vessel, will be established as shown in this chartlet from 09:00 until sometime after 10:30. All vessels must keep outside the exclusion zone until the all clear is broadcast. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74 or telephone 0151 949 6656. NTM 14 of 2018 refers.

UPDATE 1.3.2018: The demolition has been postponed from 8 March.