New signage for PWCs

This is a sample of one of the new signs designed in partnership with the Personal Watercraft Partnership (PWP) and local authorities. The signs will be set up at known launching sites for jet skis (PWCs). Most PWC users are responsible boaters but an irresponsible minority spoil it for everyone else and will be liable to prosecution. Peel Ports will increase the number of patrols using a harbour launch or RIB, including holidays, weekends, and during heatwaves. The patrol personnel will be equipped with body cams.

Speed limits

This chart shows the zones where there are speed limits, yellow for 6 knots and red for 8 knots. The purple zone from Cuxton to Wouldham is where members of the Kent Boat and Ski club have exclusive permission to water ski.

New boats for Peel Ports

At the Peel Ports Leisure Users Forum, held virtually on 25 February, our harbour authority announced several new vessels.

Waterwitch “Gannet”

This brand new all-electric (zero emissions) vessel is purpose-built to scoop up floating debris, a ton at a time. This week, after trials at Chatham, “Gannet” will be deployed above Aylesford, where there are lots of floating logs and other hazardous debris to clear.

ROV “Fitzroy”

April 2021 will see the first Medway trial of the group’s remotely operated survey craft ‘Fitzroy’. Should be fun!

And there’s more! These two new handy-looking work boats are due to arrive later this year. Suggestions for names please to AllMedwayMarineManagers@peelports.com

Beware of Wreck on Segas SC moorings

Peel Ports have been notified of a sunken vessel on the Segas Sailing Club moorings at the following approximate position: 51°24.017’N. 000° 33.842’E . This is roughly opposite Gillingham Marina. The wreck is believed to be a red motor launch/cruiser, 22-23ft long, which is occasionally visible at low water is now marked with an unlit, yellow ‘pellet’ buoy denoted “Wreck”. When practicable an attempt to recover the vessel will be made and once complete a cancellation to this notice will be promulgated. Until the obstruction is removed all mariners should keep clear of the area. Peel Ports NtoM 18/2021 refers.

Pirate ship wreck now has marker beacons

photo Richard Murr

Peel Ports have arranged for two red beacons to be placed beside the wreck of the infamous “pirate ship” Revenge in Faversham Creek.

photo Michael Wilcox

Unfortunately one of the beacons is positioned just the wrong side of the channel and we have suggested that it should be moved. If you are passing the wreck please try not to knock the beacons.

Peel Ports gets tough on dangerous boaters

Peel Ports have issued the following statement: “On the 26th of April 2020 a water craft collided with another vessel causing it to sink and causing serious injury to one of the occupants. Police attended the scene and the defendant was breathalysed and found to have a levels of alcohol in his system exceeding the amount permissible for driving a vehicle on the road, resulting in his arrest. The injured party maintained that the defendant had been performing ‘doughnut’ turns around her vessel but had lost control of his vessel causing it to collide with hers.

“The Port of Sheerness Ltd brought prosecution proceedings against the defendant pursuant to the Port Byelaws alleging that the defendant had failed to navigate his vessel with the requisite level of care and that he had been in charge of his vessel whilst unfit by reason of drink, contrary to byelaws 22 and 33 respectively. The defendant was summoned to appear before magistrates sitting at Medway on the 10th of December 2020. At this hearing the defendant pleaded guilty to both allegations and was ordered to pay fines, compensation and costs totalling £3,950.”

UPDATE: The “water craft” referred to in the Peel Ports Notice was a small motor cruiser, not a PWC (jet ski). The other vessel was a dinghy.

IMPORTANT: LNG Vessel Transit and Manoeuvres

Peel Ports have asked us to notify boaters that a recent near miss incident involving a small fishing boat and an LNG vessel has highlighted an issue surrounding the movement of such ships and the proximity of small boats. LNG vessel movements are extremely sensitive for a number of reasons; the size of the vessel, the level of tug assistance required, the complexity of the berthing/unberthing manoeuvre and the very nature of the cargo they carry. When an LNG ship is transiting the River Medway or in the process of manoeuvring on/off the berth at Isle of Grain all vessels are required to keep well clear and maintain a safe distance.

The chart above shows the potential turning circle of an LNG ship and indicates the amount of sea room that needs to be kept clear for the turning manoeuvre. The area highlighted may alter depending on the size of the vessel and if the adjacent LNG berth is occupied by another ship, however, the zone marked is based on the largest LNG vessels expected (345m). When the ship is fast alongside the established LNG berth exclusion zone and associated rules apply to all craft as per Medway NtoM 02 of 2020.

Medway real-time tide info

Here’s what we’ve all been waiting for! Paul Cozens of Peel Ports has kindly given us the link to their site which gives real time tidal heights and differences over prediction (ie surge) plus wind for Tripod, Sheerness, Chatham and Strood. Here’s the link:

https://peelports.port-log.net/live/Display.php?Cluster=Medway

You can drill down for detailed tide times etc by clicking on the tide station of interest. Note the big tidal surge that occurred a week ago: