Huge accommodation barge drifts from Pinup Reach to Lower Halstow

Photo Kent News

A massive accommodation barge moored in Pinup Reach (not Upnor as reported earlier) has broken free of its moorings in the strong westerly gale today and drifted via South Yantlet Creek to Barksore Marshes near Lower Halstow. Peel Ports say that Briggs Marine will attempt to recover the vessel when the wind abates, aided by high tides predicted in the next few days.

DFDS ferry service suspended

DFDS’s unaccompanied freight ferry route between Calais & Sheerness, Kent has been suspended with the last sailing of the ship Maxine taking place this morning. DFDS have cited ‘operational difficulties’ as the reason for the suspension.

UPDATE: The DFDS ferry service will be resumed from 15 March 2022.

Faversham Swing Bridge – Latest News

The MSBA supports Faversham Creek Trust in their campaign to restore the swing bridge, which would allow craft such as sailing barges to use the basin at the head of the creek. On Friday 10 December Helen Whately MP met with representatives from Kent County Council, Faversham Town Council, the Faversham Society and the Faversham Creek Trust to discuss progress since their last meeting in June. The Town Council kicked off the meeting with an update on their legal advice. It said the Secretary of State has the power to issue an Abatement Notice under section 43 of the Medway Ports Act 1973 to compel the party with obligations to maintain this bridge, sluice gates and associated works so as to permit navigation again. The Town Council has written to the Secretary of State for Transport asking him to issue this notice. The meeting agreed that supporting the Town Council to achieve this objective was the best way forward. Money currently pledged by Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, and Faversham Town Council and raised from the community by the Faversham Creek Trust, is not enough to cover the cost of restoring the bridge. We need Peel Ports to play their part to get the bridge back into working order, this would go a long way towards plugging the funding gap for making the creek basin usable again. KCC confirmed that the Faversham community funding is safely held in a separate account except where individual donors have requested and received their donations back. Kent County Council is helping the Town Council to provide the Department of Transport with further information about the bridge and creek. Helen Whately will press the Secretary of State to take this course of action. While this is a positive step forward there is still a long way to go. KCC confirmed that design work on the bridge and sluices is completed and tender documents are ready. Both Helen and KCC have agreed to update residents about progress so far including future designs for the bridge.

MSBA AGM, 30 Nov 2021

Please make sure your club or  organisation is represented at the MSBA Annual General Meeting at Rochester Cruising Club, 10 Esplanade, ME1 1QN on 30 November 2021 at 6.30 for 7pm, followed by a Business Meeting.

At the AGM, there will be the election of officers for the MSBA committee. Please consider volunteering for the committee as there are vacancies.

As this is the last meeting of the year before Christmas, a buffet will be provided free of charge and there is a bar in the clubhouse.

If you didn’t receive the agenda and minutes by email please contact info@msba.org.uk. We look forward to seeing you there.

Monstrosity departs at last

This morning the huge, unprepossessing “accommodation barge” that has graced Rochester riverside for 8 years was towed away by GPS Marine to Upnor where it will be refitted. KentOnline reported that the vessel will be transformed into 400 “luxury” holiday apartments in Gibraltar by a mystery businessman.

Apparently, and not a lot of people know this, the barge is known as “Hillside” and was originally built for the Dutch navy. GPS has been maintaining the vessel since it arrived from Portsmouth where it was used by the Royal Navy for crews in the process of changing ships. It has three decks with air-conditioned rooms plus leisure and communal areas, including a bar, dance floor and had a cinema or lecture theatre.

Read more at KentOnline…