In a surprise move to end confusion with other rivers of the same name, Peel Ports have announced that from 1 April the River Medway will be called River London Medway. A spokesman for the company, now named Peel Ports London Medway, explained that as they legally own the river from Allington to Sheerness this is within their powers and follows an extensive consultation with stakeholders in Liverpool. Another well-placed insider revealed that the “aspirational” change of name is expected to bring new business to the port and increase the value of local property.
Peel Ports have been notified of scheduled maintenance work at Kingsferry Bridge between the above dates meaning lifting restrictions will be imposed affecting all vessels. Work to rectify issues with the gates will result in NO bridge lifts being possible during the periods stated below.
Peel Ports have been notified of a sunken vessel on the Segas Sailing Club moorings at the following approximate position: 51°24.017’N. 000° 33.842’E . This is roughly opposite Gillingham Marina. The wreck is believed to be a red motor launch/cruiser, 22-23ft long, which is occasionally visible at low water is now marked with an unlit, yellow ‘pellet’ buoy denoted “Wreck”. When practicable an attempt to recover the vessel will be made and once complete a cancellation to this notice will be promulgated. Until the obstruction is removed all mariners should keep clear of the area. Peel Ports NtoM 18/2021 refers.
Peel Ports have arranged for two red beacons to be placed beside the wreck of the infamous “pirate ship” Revenge in Faversham Creek.
Unfortunately one of the beacons is positioned just the wrong side of the channel and we have suggested that it should be moved. If you are passing the wreck please try not to knock the beacons.
The Forth Umpire was out yesterday collecting hazardous debris between Chatham and Peters bridge after the previous day’s tidal surge. Note that the majority of floating debris is sawn logs, believed to originate from tree lopping upstream on the non-tidal Medway.
Peel Ports have asked us to notify boaters that a recent near miss incident involving a small fishing boat and an LNG vessel has highlighted an issue surrounding the movement of such ships and the proximity of small boats. LNG vessel movements are extremely sensitive for a number of reasons; the size of the vessel, the level of tug assistance required, the complexity of the berthing/unberthing manoeuvre and the very nature of the cargo they carry. When an LNG ship is transiting the River Medway or in the process of manoeuvring on/off the berth at Isle of Grain all vessels are required to keep well clear and maintain a safe distance.
The chart above shows the potential turning circle of an LNG ship and indicates the amount of sea room that needs to be kept clear for the turning manoeuvre. The area highlighted may alter depending on the size of the vessel and if the adjacent LNG berth is occupied by another ship, however, the zone marked is based on the largest LNG vessels expected (345m). When the ship is fast alongside the established LNG berth exclusion zone and associated rules apply to all craft as per Medway NtoM 02 of 2020.
Network Rail have informed Peel Ports about planned maintenance taking place on Kingsferry Bridge from 26 November to 3 December 2020. The work will involve a 6 hour lockdown of all electrical power and will cause disruption from approximately LW-3hrs to LW +3hrs (see below).
Between the times stated on the dates below bridge lifts will not be possible:
26.11.2020 – 13:00 – 19:00
27.11.2020 – 13:30 – 19:30
30.11.2020 – 14:50 – 22:30
01.12.2020 – 16:30 – 22:30
02.12.2020 – 17:30 – 23:30
03.12.2020 – 18:00 – 00:00
14.12.2020 – 14:00 – 20:00 LW Sheerness – 18:18
15.12.2020 – 14:30 – 22:30 LW Sheerness – 19:04
16.12.2020 – 15:30 – 21:30 LW Sheerness – 19:47
17.12.2020 – 16:30 – 22:30 LW Sheerness – 20:27
Briggs Marine, working for Peel Ports, have cleared over 5 tons of debris from the river this week between Halling and Elmhaven Marina. A new purpose-built, electric “Waterwitch” vessel, that can pass under Aylesford Bridge, will soon be deployed to keep the upper reaches clear.
Peel Ports advise that television filming work is due to take place on and around the Kingsferry Bridge over the weekend of 24/25 October 2020. The filming will require navigational restrictions to be imposed on the river adjacent to and either side of the bridge for two specified periods. Whilst work is underway an exclusion zone will be established and policed by three GPS Marine vessels who will prevent any craft from entering the area. The GPS Vincia and crane barge RODMA will be stationed north of the bridge and the Felucca will be south side, both vessels will be assisted by a GPS Marine RIB, all craft will maintain a listening watch on VHF channel 74.
Network Rail will also be conducting engineering work on the bridge from 00:01 to 12:00 on Sunday 25th October.
Restrictions will be as follows:
24.10.2020 – 12:00 to 23:59 – No leisure craft access or transit through KFB, essential commercial vessel transits may be considered.
25.10.2020 – 00:01 to 23:59 – No leisure craft access or transit through KFB, essential commercial vessel transits may be considered.
Peel Ports advise that on 11 October 2020 from 0800 to 1800 there will be an inspection of the Rochester Rail Bridge structure which will cause some disruption to river traffic. The bridge investigation work will be carried out by rope access teams and will be completed in two stages. Span closures will be imposed whilst inspections are underway and two safety boats will be deployed beneath operational areas to police traffic, the safety craft will be monitoring VHF channel 74 at all times.