Queenborough Harbour Safety Warning

The aluminium access bridge and connecting bridge between the walkway and wooden hammerhead pontoon have now been imposed with weight load restrictions, declared by our structural engineer. The aluminium canting brow & bridge at the Crundell’s Wharf end is now restricted to a maximum of 4 people (or 400 kg) along the total length of the bridge. The connecting bridge between the all-tide walkway and wooden hammerhead pontoon is now restricted to a maximum of 2 people (or 200 kg) along the total length of the bridge.

Early morning rescue at Rochester CC

Known to many on the river, Chris Murr spends time on his boat at Rochester Cruising Club. While on deck on Friday morning 25 August about 5am, he thought he saw a seal making a weird noise. He shone his torch and noticed hands, then realised it was someone in the water.

He couldn’t get to them at first so called the Coastguard. Quick thinking, he noticed a dinghy half full of water so got in that while on the phone to the Coastguard and rowed out to the person, who was under the water by this time and saved their life by pulling them into the boat.

The coastguard and police attended the scene. One less tragedy in the river, we’re all proud of you Chris.

Planning application to restrict access to the water at Harty Ferry – REJECTED!

Kent County Council has applied to “stop up” the road leading to the old ferry hard at Harty Ferry (Sheppey side) except for access by foot. This would make it impossible to launch small craft such as dinghies. It would be yet another loss of access to the water for boaters.

Tim Bell of the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club says: Access to the water at Harty Ferry is vital for safety at this dangerous part of the Swale. This will affect all boat owners who want to use Harty Ferry in an emergency, and for the Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club for its coverage and safety of the Round the Island Race.

UPDATE: KCC’s Highway Department have now gone through the various comments/responses received as part of the consultation process. The council has decided not to proceed with the current stopping-up application and so the court hearing has been vacated..

Reminders from Medway VTS (VHF channel 74)

Race officers, as well as phoning Medway VTS on 0151 949 6650 to advise on their race schedule on the day of racing, should also listen out on Channel 74 to pick up information relating to inbound and outbound vessels or seaplanes.

If a seaplane is due to land in Sharfleet or Stangate creeks Medway VTS will broadcast details on VHF channel 74,  of what time the seaplane is due to land or take off. Commercial vessels as listed below will also report to Medway VTS on VHF channel 74 when passing inbound or outbound at the following reporting points, Medway buoy, Spile buoy, Mid Swatch buoy, No 12 buoy, Darnett Ness Beacon, No 32 buoy, Chatham Ness beacon or when berthed or anchored.

Reporting Vessel” means every vessel which is required by the Ports General Directions to report its position, intentions, or movements, specifically:
(a)   vessels having a Gross Tonnage of more than 50 tonnes.
(b)   vessels whose Length Overall is more than 40 metres.
(c)   Passenger Vessels.
(d)   vessels carrying Dangerous Goods; and
(e)   vessels which are engaged in Towing Operations.

VHF 74 reminder

Peel Ports have asked us to remind boaters that once they have slipped their mooring or left their marina they should be monitoring Medway VTS on VHF channel 74 whilst operating in the Medway and Swale Estuaries. There have been a couple of very near misses in the past few weeks that could have been avoided if motorboat and yacht owners had been monitoring channel 74.

Reckless jet skiers to face prison and unlimited fines after law change

The UK is introducing new legislation to crack down on the dangerous misuse of watercraft such as jet skis, with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) being granted more powers to prosecute perpetrators of accidents.

Read more …