Medway yachts damaged by dredger in fog

Fourteen yachts moored outside Medway Yacht Club were struck and some were badly damaged on Sunday morning by a dredger in thick fog. Fortunately no-one was on board but on the south side of the river two MYC members, who had been sleeping on board their boat, were woken by the incident and reported what happened.

See eye-witness account and photos on YBW East Coast forum

Arco Arun track

The AIS track shows that the 98 metre dredger Arco Arun went to the north side of the river on its passage downstream just after 06.30 BST doing 6.6 knots.

Max Taylor, Deputy Harbour Master, informs us that MV Arco Arun has submitted a report to the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and Peel Ports will conduct an internal investigation in addition to reporting to the MAIB. Peel Ports has offered support to MYC and a representative from the vessel operator has been on site.

Tug Touchstone

Gerry next to Touchstone's propellerOne of the more unusual MSBA members is the group of enthusiasts who look after the veteran tug Touchstone, which recently had a refit. Pictured is Gerry, one of the tug’s regular crew, next to Touchstone’s huge propeller.

Launched at Wivenhoe in 1963, until the early 1980s she was mainly employed towing petrol lighters from Thameshaven to Aylesford on the River Medway. At this time the tug was operated with a crew of four or five, plus up to four lightermen.

The tug’s main engine is a compressed air start Lister Blackstone diesel of eight cylinders and 500 hp capacity. The hydraulic gearbox drives a 2 metre diameter 4 bladed propeller. Her tonnage is 68 tons gross and a deadweight of 110 tons.

For more photos and news, see Touchstone’s Facebook page.

18th century Russian ship visits Chatham

russian shipThe Shtandart, a faithful replica of Russia’s first warship built for Peter the Great in 1703, has arrived in the Medway. The tsar, using the name Peter Mikhailov, learned the art of shipbuilding from Dutch and English shipwrights when Chatham dockyard was at its peak. Shtandart was accompanied as far as Rochester Bridge by the Medway Ports launch, then turned back and berthed outside Chatham Marina this afternoon.

Boats that go bump

Several boats have been damaged this year on their moorings in Gillingham Reach and Short Reach. Max Taylor, Deputy Harbourmaster, suggests that owners report any damage to their vessels direct to Medway VTS (email navigation@medwayports.com or phone 01795 663025) and Kent Police, including the state and extent of damage (photographic evidence welcome), approximate time and any additional evidence such as unusual paint/scuff marks. One recent incident in Gillingham Reach left red paint on the damaged yacht. With luck Medway VTS may have a CCTV recording of the incident which will assist an investigation.

Could your club use help from the RYA? Winter Workshop on 13 Nov at Medway YC is about Funding.

RYA Workshops

This series of workshops covers a number of topics within Club Development and is your opportunity to hear the latest from the regional team of RYA Development Officers, meet other clubs and share good practice. They are completely FREE for all RYA affiliated clubs.

The workshops take place in October, November and January at Medway Yacht Club and other venues. Click here for venues and dates. Each workshop will begin at 7pm. Please encourage a variety of members and committee members to attend from your club. To book your place please email Sam Rowe (sam.rowe@rya.org.uk) or Andy Hooper (andy.hooper@rya.org.uk)