Mid Cant Beacon to be “deleted”

Peel Ports have issued a list of obsolete or missing navigation marks that are to be deleted from Trinity House’s records. At the end of this list is the Mid Cant beacon, a lit north cardinal beacon marking the end of the submarine barrier off the north coast of Sheppey, to be reclassified as “ruin”. As this is an important aid to navigation for boats, including fishing vessels, using the Four Fathom Channel between the Medway and Ramsgate we have requested that the mark be maintained but otherwise it should be removed entirely so that it does not itself become a hazard.

You are invited to submit comments to Capt. Ian Clark AFRIN AFNI, Manager Marine Operations, by 30 June 2017.

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.

“Medway in Flames” Exclusion Zone, 17 June

Medway on Fire exclusion zoneOn the evening of 17 June from 21.40 to 22.40, a Temporary Exclusion Zone will be established from a line drawn perpendicularly across the river from Upnor Jetty (51°24.56´N 000°31.80´E) to a line drawn perpendicularly across the river at Whitewall Creek (51°23.90´N 000°31.40´E) as shown on the chartlet (left).

Between these times no vessel shall navigate, anchor or be secured to a mooring buoy, within the area, without the express permission of the Harbour Master.

The Temporary Exclusion Zone will be in place to facilitate the safe conduct of a firework and water screen display (“Medway In Flames”). Six barges will be positioned in the following locations:

  • 51° 24.22´ N 000° 31.82´ E
  • 51° 24.38´ N 000° 31.88´ E
  • 51° 24.06´ N 000° 31.72´ E
  • 51° 24.08´ N 000° 31.59´ E
  • 51° 24.20´ N 000° 31.64´ E
  • 51° 24.32´ N 000° 31.68´ E

Pontoons will run between the barges positioned on the west side of the river. Medway VTS will broadcast the start and completion of the exclusion zone on VHF 74. Mariners are reminded that no vessel shall navigate at a speed above 6 knots through the water Westwards of Folly Point.

Speeding PWC causes crew to fall from mast in Gillingham Reach

On Sunday afternoon, 9 April, a man fell about 10 feet onto another crew member from the mast of a yacht moored in Gillingham Reach. While the injured man was given oxygen, the Sheerness Inshore Lifeboat fetched a paramedic from an ambulance waiting at Gillingham Marina and then transferred him ashore. We understand the man suffered broken ribs.

There were two jet skis and eight personal watercraft (PWCs) in the area at the time and some of these were creating a lot of wash which was a nuisance and hazard to youngsters being trained in dinghy sailing at the Strand. The speed limit here is 6 knots (approx 7mph). Trevor Peen, a director of Medway Watersports, radioed Medway VTS to report this activity but could not get a response. When he called by phone he was told there was nothing they could do.

Mr Peen said, “I have campaigned for several years for parties to manage this situation, which gets worse every year to the point that these PWCs can achieve speeds in excess of 50 mph. During the afternoon I overheard a call on the VHF that there was an incident 1 mile east of the marina. It just so happens that I also belong to the Medway Cruising Club where these moorings are, so I know the area well. I went down to slow traffic down in the river as someone had fallen from a mast, I was told by the people on the boat that three speeding PWCs had created so much wash that the guy fell from the mast.”

Mr Peen added, “Three years ago when there was an incident that involved these craft on a jetty at Gillingham Marina, I was interviewed by BBC South east. I said that until someone dies here then nothing will be done. I have reported these incidents so often including photos. Please don’t let someone’s son or daughter die at the Strand.”

Kingsferry Bridge Closure, 21 March 2017

For essential maintenance, Kingsferry Bridge will not be lifted on Tuesday 21st March 2017 between 07:45 and 15:12.

NtoM No 12 of 2017 – Kingsferry Bridge Closure

Medway VTS Update

Peel Ports have issued a notice that while they are upograding the radar and CTV system, from the 25 January 2017 until further notice Medway VTS will be without primary radar coverage in Short Reach, Gillingham Reach and Pinup Reach. CCTV will also be temporarily interrupted in this area during the upgrade period.

NtoM No 08 of 2017 – Medway VTS Update

Interestingly the notice reminds vessels over 40m, with wheelhouse situated aft, that there must be a lookout stationed forward notifying the OOW of other vessel movements.  That’s good to know!

Car drives off Gillingham Pier

This afternoon a white Ford Fiesta sped along Gillingham Pier, past the Medway Queen, and smashed through the railings before sinking at the edge of the approach channel for Chatham Docks. The 31-year-old driver swam ashore and was arrested for drink driving. The sunken car will be investigated tomorrow. Meanwhile Peel Ports has advised mariners to navigate with caution.

Read more and see video at Kent Online…

Grain Power Station Chimney to be demolished 7 Sept 2016

Grain chimney

Peel Ports have advised that, at about 11:00 (soon after low water) on 7 September 2016, the Grain Power Station Chimney will be demolished. The 244 metre high chimney is an important landmark used by mariners to establish their position.

Read more at Kent Online…

Reminder of LNG Terminal Exclusion Zone

Peel Ports have issued a notice reminding mariners to keep 150 metres away from the LNG terminal, or 250 metres from the tanker if one is present. Following recent exclusion zone incursions a number of vessel owners have been educated regarding their failure of navigational and situational awareness. Unauthorised Exclusion Zone Infringements may result in Enforcement Action.

Rochester Old Stone Bridge Inspection and Span Closures

Structural inspection works and span closures will commence on Rochester Old Stone Bridge from 17-23 May 2016. A rope access team will operate on the underside of the Rochester Old Stone Bridge. Only one span will be closed to navigation at any one time.

A closed span will be identified by the suspension of three RED discs at the points of an equilateral triangle with the apex downwards and the base horizontal; by night by three RED lights in a similar position to the discs exhibited by day. The RED discs or lights will be suspended from the centre of the span.

The safety boat ‘Protector’ will be in attendance and will maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch74.