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.”
Police and emergency services have been searching the River Medway since 18-year-old Ben Savage went missing after a night out in Chatham. He was last seen on CCTV at Sun Pier on Tuesday night. If you have any information please call the police.
More on Kent Online…
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Photo Nigel Crisp
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.
Read more at Kent Online…
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…
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.
View video of the gang’s arrest by armed offers…
Jim McLeod, 55, pictured on Satsuma in Brightlingsea Harbour.
UPDATE: PC David Lavender has informed us that Mr McLeod has been found, presumably alive and well, with his boat Satsuma in Colchester.
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).