Huge tidal surge today

The current string of storms (Dudley, Eunice etc) whipped up by the vigorous jet stream have played havoc with tidal predictions. This afternoon’s high tide was an extraordinary 1.4 metres higher than predicted, putting areas close to the river at risk of flooding.

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.

Monty to lose masts by June 2022

Photo Margaret Flo McEwan, Maunsell Forts Appreciation Group

The Royal Navy has been brought in to help Briggs Marine with their £5m contract to remove the SS Richard Montgomery’s corroded masts after surveys warned that they could collapse onto the fragile deck and set off the 1400 tons (TNT equivalent) of explosives remaining on board.

Please note there have been many seriously inaccurate reports of this project, even in the quality press. The ship itself is not being touched, just the masts. However these have become a sight to see and their loss will affect the local tourism trade.

More information…

Adam says thank you

Adam Taylor of Medway Council says, “We had an excellent response from River Medway users to our request for retrieving lost life rings, in particular the ones trapped under Sun Pier. Sincerest thanks to Pete, Rob, John, Tony and the Maritime Volunteer Service. Each lost life ring costs taxpayers £50 and we are grateful for your help.”

Medway sailor dies after fall from boat

A local yachtsman died on Sunday morning after falling into the mud from his boat at Lower Halstow Yacht Club.

A LHYC spokesman said: “We can confirm a club member who had been staying overnight on his boat, which was on its mooring just off the club’s jetty and slipway, fell from his boat on to the soft mud of Halstow Creek. We understand a local resident heard shouting and alerted the police at around 2am. At the time the tide would have been approaching the moored yacht.

“We understand the police recovered him from the water some time later using a dinghy from the club. Both Sheppey Coastguard and Sheerness lifeboat were tasked at around 3.30am, some one-and-a-half hours after the initial report to the police. The casualty was a well-respected member and experienced sailor. Our thoughts go out to his wife and family.”

More information at Kent Online…

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)

Why use a helicopter rather than a hovercraft?

Gavin Parson writes: Last night a rescue helicopter plucked a person from a dinghy stuck on the mud outside Gillingham Marina. Mark Colyer who keeps his hovercraft at the marina witnessed this complete waste of money and resources and subsequently went out in his hovercraft to recover the dinghy.  The whole rescue could have been done in minutes and for £2 in fuel with the hovercraft rather than the thousands it no doubt cost for the helicopter. Perhaps there is now a validation for a volunteer rescue hovercraft service on the Medway.