Rail strikes to disrupt Kingsferry Bridge openings

Industrial action by the rail union RMT is expected to disrupt the operation of Kingsferry Bridge. Strikes are planned for June 21st, 23rd and 25th; however, the impact will also affect periods outside of these days. Normal service will be maintained up to 06:00 on Tuesday 21st June and will not resume until the 26th. Network Rail have implemented a contingency plan to cater for the spells of industrial action meaning the bridge will be manned and lifts available over the following dates and time periods:

Tuesday 21st June 2022 Midnight – 06:00 and 08:00 – 20:00
Wednesday 22nd June 2022 06:00 – Midnight
Thursday 23rd June 2022 Midnight – 18:00
Friday 24th June 2022 06:00 – Midnight
Saturday 25th June 2022 Midnight – 06:00 and 07:00 – 19:00

Priority will be given to commercial shipping, however, leisure craft will also be able to transit the bridge but it is advised to give as much notice as possible to avoid delays. If talks between employers and the unions are successful and industrial action is avoided a cancellation notice will be issued.

Do you still use Admiralty charts?

The UK Hydrographic Office would like to know if you would object if they withdraw the admiralty chart no. 2482 – River Medway and The Swale. The statutory harbour authority area of Peel Ports London Medway is currently covered by the following admiralty charts:
3683 – Sheerness and Approaches – Scale 1:12500
1834 – River Medway Garrison Point to Folly Point – Scale 1:12500
1835 – River Medway Folly Point to Maidstone – Scale 1:6000 / 1:25000 for the continuation.
2571 – The Swale Whitstable to Harty Ferry – Scale 1:12500
2572 – The Swale Windmill Creek to Queenborough – Scale 1:12500
2482 – River Medway and The Swale – Scale 1:25000
Chart no. 2482 is essentially a duplicate of 2571 & 2572 but on a smaller scale and Peel Ports would like to ask all river users for feedback regarding its withdrawal from the UKHO’s chart publication list. Please send all comments on this consultation to AllMedwayMarineManagers@peelports.com by 30 April 2022, we will collate the feedback and forward it to the UKHO, any decision to remove the chart from publication will be promulgated by further notice to mariners.

Consultation on “discontinuation” of navigation marks

Peel Ports London Medway is planning to discontinue the following navigation marks:
• The Cant – ‘D’ Beacon (unlit) approximately 1nm South of MAC buoys 5/6
• Sheerness Harbour – Grain Light (QW) just South of Grain outfall channel
• Sharfleet Creek (East & Western ends) – Beacons 7&8 (unlit) ex Admiralty beacons
• Loden Hope – West Point Beacon (unlit)
• Swale – Long Reach – Codds Creek Beacon
• Bee Ness Buoy (Fl G 5s).

The above-mentioned proposal will be subject to a consultation period that will run until 7th February 2022.

Comments and queries should be sent to: AllMedwayMarineManagers@peelports.com

Notice to Mariners 13 of 2022 refers. Following the consultation period all comments received will be assessed, the Port of Sheerness (as the Local Lighthouse Authority) will make its decision and any proposed change will be promulgated by a further Notice to Mariners.

Peel Ports dealing with abandoned vessels

Whitstable Marine on behalf of Peel Ports lifted this sunken vessel yesterday at Rochester Pier. The wreck was moved to the Strood side of the river where it will be broken up and disposed of. If you have any information about the boat or its owner please contact adam.taylor@medway.gov.uk

Furthermore the obstruction near Sun Pier (at only 0.7m depth) has now been marked with an orange pellet buoy which says “wreck.”

We are pleased to see Peel Ports and Medway Council acting together to clear such abandoned boats which are an increasing nuisance on our river.

PLA Harbour Revision Order Consultation

On 18 August the Marine Management Organisation started a 56-day consultation on the PLA’s application for a Harbour Revision Order (HRO). The PLA is seeking the HRO to update the provisions of the Port of London Act under which they operate, and they are required to promote the consultation along the length of their jurisdiction.

Among the miscellaneous changes are “modifying limitations on the exercise of the PLA’s powers in relation to the Medway approach and areas off Southend-on-Sea and Sheerness.”

For more information visit:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/port-of-london-authority-harbour-revision-order.

Don’t get caught by this new hazard at Sheerness!

If you’re passing close in to the Sheerness RoRo terminal, which is being used for a new ferry service, beware of the new mooring buoy which is connected to the jetty by a line which could entrap your vessel.

Peel Ports Notice to Mariners No 32 of 2021, issued today, states: “The mooring buoy will be utilised by Ro-Ro vessels berthing on SD.10, when alongside, the ship’s mooring lines will create a hazard between the buoy and the vessel. When the berth is not in use the mooring lines will run from the buoy to the berth and be made fast on the downstream dolphin, whilst the ropes are in the water they will be made more conspicuous by coloured marker buoys. When ropes are running from the buoy to the berth, passage between the mooring buoy and downstream dolphin on SD.10 will not be possible. Mariners are advised to navigate with caution in the vicinity of Garrison Point and NOT pass between the buoy and the end of Sheerness No.10 berth.”

Further information may be obtained from Medway VTS on VHF Channel 74, call sign “Medway VTS” or telephone 0151 949 6148.

Mystery obstruction near Sun Pier

Something big and metallic on the river bed

Richard Bain of Jetstream Tours has found an obstruction just outside of the upper end of the Sun Pier (Rats Bay) buoys. It seems to be metallic and sits proud of the river bed by an estimated 3 metres. His vessel had struck the object in October last year but as Peel Ports had surveyed the area the previous day and found nothing it was assumed to be just a driftwood strike. 

Yesterday Richard heard the metallic clang again, so stopped and did a drift over it, capturing this image on his echo sounder. Peel Ports have been informed but no marker has been put down yet.

UPDATE 16.09.2021: Peel Ports have now marked the location with an orange pellet buoy which says “wreck.”

LNG Terminal exclusion zone reminder

Peel Ports says: The relaxation of COVID restrictions has seen boating activities resume which is good to see. However, within the last week numerous incursions into the LNG exclusion zone whilst ships are alongside have been reported by the guard tug. LNG berth exclusion zone infringements will not be tolerated and Peel Ports will act on all reports, can clubs and marinas please remind all members of the regulations when passing the LNG Terminal.

Notice to Mariners No 2 of 2021 – Isle Of Grain LNG Jetties 8 & 10 Exclusion Zone + Chart (236Kb)

Notice to Mariners No 3 of 2021 – LNG Vessel Transit And Manoeuvres (305Kb)

Wreck to be lifted from Segas SC moorings on 22 April

Peel Ports have notified us that on 22 April 2021 a recovery operation is scheduled to lift and remove the sunken vessel as detailed in Medway NtoM 18 of 2021 [Beware of Wreck on Segas SC moorings]. The craft ‘Liftmoor’ will be performing the salvage work between 1200 hrs and 1830 hrs (approx) and will maintain a listening watch on VHF channel 74 at all times. Due to the nature of the work all passing craft are requested to pass with caution and reduce wash to a minimum. If required ‘Liftmoor’ may return on 23 April to complete the recovery, once removal is confirmed a cancellation notice will be promulgated.