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.”
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
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!
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…
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…
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.
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.
Peel Ports has published an Updated List of Events of which they have been notified. Clubs and Organisations are obliged to notify Peel Ports of organised events taking place on the river such as races and regattas. From this list it would seem that only two or three clubs have done so.
Also, please remember that your club may borrow the two inflatable MSBA race marks (see photo) for races or other events.
Peel Ports have issued a Notice to Mariners stating that from 18 April 2016 lifting operations will commence on the Medway Valley Crossing. This work will start the process of removing the temporary air draught restriction. Safety boats will be positioned to marshal the area during lifting operations. Any vessel planning to navigate under the Medway Valley Crossing shall give prior notice of their intentions by contacting BAM Nuttall Limited on 07921 517991 or 07771 913923.
NtoM No 05 of 2016 – Update Medway Valley Crossing Update
Photo Michael Wilcox
Following requests fom the MSBA and other river users, Peel Ports have today announced that the wreck of the sunken fishing vessel Cardium has now been removed from Faversham Creek near the junction with Oare Creek.