MSBA prompts Peel Ports rethink on charges

Following a protest by the MSBA to the notified 8.5% increase in charges for moorings and conservancy licences, Peel Ports have reduced this increase to 6%, being the RPI figure for the 12 months to October 2021. We have been told that refunds have now been issued to those who have already paid their 2022 invoices. A meeting is being arranged to discuss the basis for these charges going forward.

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…

Peel Ports announce “outrageous” increase in charges for 2022

Peel Ports have announced an 8.5% price hike in charges (see notice).

The MSBA has previously objected to their massive annual increases in charges and we have made the point more than once that such price hikes jeopardise the viability of some of our clubs. We obtained an undertaking that the process would be transparent and we would be consulted but this has not taken place.

The MSBA has asked for a detailed breakdown of the justification of this figure and will be pursuing this matter with Peel Ports.

Weather, Tides and Webcams updated for 2022

Happy New Year! Click “Weather” on the menu to see our updated weather, tides and webcam links. This now has 2022 tide tables from the PLA and Peel Ports (Sheerness and Chatham). You can also check real time tides, wind and weather at each of several stations in the Medway from the approach channel to Strood. Also we now include a link to the superb weather station and webcam (updated every 10 minutes) at Lower Halstow Yacht Club.

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.

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.”