Shock at threat to burn local author’s boat

The MSBA is saddened and shocked that local author, Nick “ditch crawler” Ardley, has received a threat to burn his beloved wooden yacht following his expression of anger at boats anchoring overnight in Stangate Creek. Apparently someone believes Nick has “dobbed” them to the police. On his Facebook page, Nick has made it clear that he did not identify any individual or vessel, though at least two dozen were displaying their boat name on AIS on the late May bank holiday, thus incriminating themselves. Many boaters from both the Essex and Kent side of the Estuary have expressed support for Nick and advised him to take the matter to the police immediately. Whatever our views on the practicalities of the current coronavirus laws, such a threat is a serious criminal matter and cannot possibly be condoned.

CA Winter Warmer talk: Border Force, 13 Feb

With small inflatable boats making their way across the English Channel we will get an insight as to how the UK Border Force deal with this problem and how we can help them.

CA Kent Section Winter Warmer talks are popular.

We are all invited to these excellent Kent Cruising Association talks, which are held at 8pm at the Dog and Bear, Lenham, near Maidstone. It’s a good idea to book a meal (by 5pm please) on 01622 858219 for 7pm, before the talk. A special CA menu is available.

New ways to contact Kent Police

Rachel Marshall, Ports Engagement Officer in the Frontier Engagement Team, advises that the Kent Police website has been revamped with some new facilities. The address is  www.kent.police.uk and the home page has new options including  report and Tell us about.

You can report crime, antisocial behaviour, stolen vehicles etc. If you click on the report tab, perhaps to report a crime, another box will come up fr you to live chat with someone in our Force Control Room. So this also gives another way of reporting without having to phone and you will get a human response.

On the Tell us about tab you can let us know about possible terrorist activity and there is information and a guide to assist people reporting.  

The tabs are easy to follow and give different options depending on what you want to report but I thought it is worth telling you in case there is something you are concerned about.

On the home page if you type in campaigns it will show all the campaigns that are running and one of those is our “Don’t ignore it, share it” campaign. There you will find updated information and also our short film clips.

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

Missing person in River Medway: body found

Sadly we’ve had another case of someone choosing to end his life by jumping off the M2 bridge on Wednesday night and you may have seen the police helicopter and rescue services searching yesterday morning. We are asked to keep a look-out for a body and call the police (101) or coastguard (01304 210008, or VHF16) if we see anything, which may not be for some time.

UPDATE Wed 7 Aug: A body, confirmed to be that of 32 year old Billy Angell, was recovered today from the river near Medway Bridge Marina, just yards from where he entered the water a week ago.

West India Dock Rally, 23-26 Aug 2019

Medway/Swale clubs are invited to join a rally to West India Dock (in the heart of London’s Docklands) on the August bank holiday weekend. The event is organised by the Dockland Scout Project on behalf of the Association of Thames Yacht Clubs. Apart from being a very inexpensive way to visit London there are lots of fun events to watch or join in. For full details click below to download the invitation letter…

For additional info, see reply by Fred Trice.

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.”

PC David Lavender retires

At the MSBA business meeting last week we were sorry to report that PC David Lavender of the Kent Police Marine Unit has retired after many years of service to the local marine community.  He wrote to us in January as follows:

“I have been attending the MSBA meetings for the last eleven and a half years. I joined Kent Police Marine Unit in 2007 and one of the first things I was asked to do was to take over from Steve Elliot to become, for want of a better title, the police liaison. At the time the group was the Medway Yachting Association and Jenny Deacon was the chair. The group has gone through some changes during that time. The biggest of course was changing the name and new branding, but the group has kept the same ethos. The Medway and Swale themselves have also changed in those years, two powers stations chimneys gone! There have been a number of notable events over the years such as the Climate Camp 2008, Protester at Kingsnorth, the London Olympics, the Medway River Festival, not to mention the annual Admirals Cruise and of course Medway In Flames. I thank you from a policing perspective for your support in these, for example willingness to change race start times to avoid clashes! The marine unit has also gone through some changes during that time, which I have shared with you and you have been supportive. After thirty years of policing it is time for me to retire. I have, some of you may think, gone to the dark side and I start a new job with the Marine Management Organisation in early February. I have enjoyed the meeting and interactions, though some occasions have been challenging. Some may say this is all part of the job. I have tried to be honest and open when asked difficult questions and I know that you appreciate that. There have been things that I have achieved over the years and some I have failed to do. The lack of a proficient form of communication such as marine watch has been one of these, but hopefully when Country Eye gets into full swing this may finally happened.  I thank you for the information that you have shared with us and have been willing to pass on information to your clubs and MSBA website on our behalf. Such as stolen/boats of interest and missing persons etc. I thank you for welcome and inclusiveness. You may see me again in my role with the MMO.”

We sincerely wish Dave success and satisfaction in his new role. It’s not clear at the moment who, if anyone, will replace him as our police liaison person.