Following a spate of suspicious fires at Acorn Shipyard, the latest on Sunday having left a replica Dutch barge gutted, a 19 year old Rochester man has been arrested.
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.
Last weekend, PCs David Lavender and Ron Murray from the Kent Police Search and Marine Unit took BBC Radio Kent reporter Alex Bish out on their RIB “Seahorse” to show how they look out for terrorists and people smugglers. If you see anything suspicious dial 101 and say Operation Kraken.
Ken Marsden writes, “I’m a member of the Medway Cruising Club, and within the last few days have lost my dinghy from my mooring off Gillingham. As far as I can see the dinghy became detached and floated away, rather than being stolen. The 8ft dinghy is fibreglass, painted cream outside and grey inside, bears in big letters the name PICARO and also has on the stern MCC. Would you be able to circulate your contacts on the river to see if it has been found?”
If you have any information, please call Ken on 07885 595393.
UPDATE: As a result of this website publishing this appeal, Ken has foudn out that his dinghy was recovered by the Sheerness lifeboat.
“Mastermind” Harry Shilling and Michael Defraine were convicted of smuggling 9 machine pistols and 22 assault rifles plus ammunition from Boulogne to a deserted wharf near Cuxton. Their operation was monitored for weeks by the National Crime Agency after a tip off by Kent Police. The gang were arrested last August as they loaded their deadly haul into a van at Trenchman’s Wharf. Displaying an appalling ignorance of nautical matters, the Daily Telegraph reported that their “yacht” was “sailed” from Boulogne to “Rochester Marina” by “boat expert” David Payne.
Seven people have been charged after firearms and rounds of ammunition were seized near Cuxton Marina in Kent. Officers detained three men and a woman near the A228, while a further three men were arrested in Orpington, and another in Swanley. The NCA seized 22 automatic assault rifles, 9 Skorpion machine pistols, 58 magazines, two silencers and approximately 1,000 live rounds of ammunition. The guns were found in holdalls and a suitcase, which also contained numerous magazines and ammunition, from a van. It followed the arrival of the motor cruiser Albernina, which had travelled to the UK from France. Read more…
UPDATE: Locals advise that the van was stopped not at Cuxton Marina but at Trenchman’s Wharf, just a little way upstream, where the tug Pelikaan has sunk (see earlier article).
Kent Police have recently been made aware of a number of yachts on moorings which have sustained damage to their hulls. From further enquiries including viewing CCTV it appears the most probable cause for this damage is other vessels attempting to pass through the moorings but colliding with the moored vessels as they do so. One yacht has been holed and several have damage to hull, rubbing strake and toe rails.
Clearly this shows the need for all water users to display a higher degree of care when navigating between moorings to avoid further damage occuring. So far only one owner has been contacted to exchange insurance details, leaving numerous owners to foot the bill for expensive repair work.