Kingsferry Bridge Closures, Oct 2019

Network Rail have informed Peel Ports Medway that, due to essential maintenance, the Kingsferry Bridge will be inoperative and unable to be lifted on the following dates and times: 21:00 07/10/19 – 00:30 08/10/19 • 21:00 08/10/19 – 00:30 09/10/19 • 21:00 09/10/19 – 00:30 10/10/19 • 21:00 21/10/19 – 00:30 22/10/19 • 21:00 22/10/19 – 00:30 23/10/19 • 21:00 23/10/19 – 00:30 24/10/19. Admiralty Chart Numbers 2482 & 2572 refer. Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74, call sign “Medway VTS” or telephone 0151 949 6148 or 0151 949 6650

Wouldham/Halling Overhead Cable Works

Overhead works are scheduled to begin on or around 23 September 2019 across the River Medway between Wouldham Marshes and Halling, and will involve the replacement of an overhead power cable. River traffic will be monitored by a safety boat which will be on site whilst the cable pull takes place. Communications relevant to the works should be directed at the safety boat or Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74.

UPDATE 20 Sept: The work is now expected to be completed on or around 18 October. (Peel Ports Notice to Mariners No 25 of 2019)

High and dry on Nor Marsh

Drone photo by Gavin Parson.

This cabin cruiser has been high and dry on Nor Marsh for at least a month. The Sheerness inshore lifeboat was called out by the Coastguard on 27 July to investigate but there was no-one aboard. As the boat was a metre above the high water mark it must have already been there for some days.  Please let us know if you know anything about this vessel and we’ll pass the information on. Email info@msba.org.uk

Gridlink project begins at Kingsnorth

Photo by Wil Pretty.

If you’ve seen the big yellow jack-up rig in the Medway at Kingsnorth you may have wondered what’s going on. The rig is for probing the river bed prior to laying of a massive electrical cable. The GridLink Interconnector Project is a 1,400 MW high voltage electricity cable that will provide a link between the national grids of the UK and France.

The cable connects the National Grid 400 kV sub-station at Kingsnorth to the RTE 400 kV sub-station near Dunkerque, France. The converter stations change the high voltage direct current to alternating current and adjust the voltage to 400 kV for the connection to the sub -stations. The cable route passes through the Medway Estuary and Thames Estuary, before turning south-east to cross the southern North Sea to the French coast.

Blackstakes buoy gone for good

The cylindrical yellow buoy on the south side of Saltpan Reach has again been removed by Peel Ports without notice, this time permanently. The Blackstakes buoy was a racing mark, located to keep boats well away from the LNG Terminal, as we are constantly exhorted to do by Peel Ports. As in 2016, the unexpected removal of the buoy has caused unnecessary inconvenience to clubs which race in the Medway estuary. Enquiries by Medway YC and the MSBA elicited the response from Peel Ports that the buoy was considered “not commercially viable” and today a notice to mariners was belatedly issued. The two adjacent commercial mooring buoys (Saltpan Nos. 8 and 9) have been given a fresh coat of yellow paint (see photo) but this does not mean they are a replacement for Blackstakes. There has been no explanation of why the clubs were not notified in advance of the buoy’s removal.

Blackstakes has gone. Don’t use these nearby yellow mooring buoys as a replacement.

Jet skiers successfully prosecuted by PLA

A jet skier who flouted speed limit and safety rules on the tidal Thames has been fined, following a successful prosecution by the Port of London Authority. Kestutis Abramavicius, 36, was captured on video by a member of the public as he sped along the river near Benfleet Creek, Canvey Island, Essex. Westminster Magistrates Court heard how the offence took place in October last year. Abramavicius, of Dukes Avenue, Grays, admitted “navigation without due care and attention” under Section 108 of the Port of London Act. He was fined £750 and ordered to pay costs of more than £3,000. The court was told that there is an eight-knot speed limit throughout the Canvey Island area, which is in place to protect river users and the environment. He was identified with the help of Essex Police by the checking of launching records at a local slipway which matched the description of his distinctively coloured jet ski. Benfleet Creek is an environmentally protected area for its habitats and vegetation. Wash generated by the jet ski had the potential to affect this sensitive environment, the court was told yesterday (Wednesday 8 May). The prosecution comes in the wake of a similar incident, where Lee Martin, 31, from Gravesend was last month fined £2,750 and ordered to pay costs of more than £3,500 for ignoring a ban on jet skiing on the river in central London. After the hearing, PLA chief harbour master Bob Baker said: “We think this prosecution, following on from last month’s jet ski case, will again serve as a warning to river users. If you break the rules, we will take action. “We are also very grateful to the member of the public who recorded the offender committing the offence. Their help was vital to this prosecution and it demonstrates just how concerned people are about safety on the river and its environment.”

Beware of sunken barge at Lower Halstow

Peel Ports advise that the floating dock/converted barge Westmoreland, that has been moored between two large yellow mooring buoys to the north of the Lower Halstow Yacht Club moorings, has sunk. It is still made fast to the two yellow marker buoys fore and aft but is covered at high water. The centre of the barge between the two yellow buoys is marked by floating pellet buoys. Mariners should navigate with caution due to this submerged danger to navigation. Approximate position 51 23.00N 000 40.60E. The owner is aware and will be dealing with the situation.

Garrison Point traffic warning light reinstated

Peel Ports have issued a notice that the flashing white warning light on top of Garrison Point for big ships going in or out of the Medway is now working again.

The Traffic Warning Light is positioned to assist vessels in complying with General Direction No. 10, Navigation of Vessels of more Than 130 Metres length Overall Between Sunset and Sunrise and in Restricted Visibility. The Traffic Warning Light is a white light that flashes every seven seconds and is normally exhibited by day and by night as follows;
• When an inward bound vessel of more than 130 metres Length Overall is underway in the buoyed channel between the Medway Buoy and Darnett Ness the lights are exhibited in an upriver direction.
• When an outward bound vessel of more than 130 metres Length Overall is underway in the buoyed channel between Darnett Ness and the Medway Buoy the lights are exhibited in a seaward direction.
Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74, call sign “Medway VTS” or telephone 0151 949 6148 or 0151 949 6650.

Medway and Thames 2019 tide tables now online

Thanks to Roger Clark for sharing this information.

Sheerness tides: https://www.peelports.com/media/4134…ess_2019_p.pdf

Chatham tides: https://www.peelports.com/media/4133/chatham_2019_p.pdf

PLA tides: http://www.pla.co.uk/assets/pla-tide-tables-2019.pdf (loads of useful info – distances, bridge heights, barrier information etc as well as tides for Walton, Margate, Shivering Sands, Southend, Tilbury etc) 

Annual Leisure Craft Conservancy Charges

Peel Ports Medway have made some alterations to the season for the collection of Annual Leisure Craft Conservancy and Yacht Mooring charges. Historically the Annual Leisure Craft Conservancy and Yacht Mooring Charges have been charged for the season 1st April – 31st March yearly.

In the future, as from April 2019, the Annual Leisure Craft Conservancy and Yacht Mooring charges will be charged for the period 1st January – 31st December yearly. Therefore the 2019 charges will be pro-rated to reflect this change and the charge will show a nine months pro-rated charge from 1st April 2019- 31st December 2019.

The new rates also include an increase of 3.3% as per the RPI guidelines. Therefore the 9 months pro-rata charges 1st Apr-31st Dec 2019 are as follows:

  •            Yacht Club Leisure Craft Conservancy charge = £ 52.07 (VAT Inc.)
  •            Yacht Club Yacht Mooring charge = £73.81 (VAT EX)

Going forward the charges shall be levied on the 1st January each year for the season starting 1st January 2020- 31st December 2020. If you need further assistance in the explanation of the new changes of the Medway tariff please do not hesitate to contact pauline.pardoe@peelports.com  or telephone 01795 596444.