Notices to Mariners Week 20

UKHO Permanent/Temporary/Preliminary

1. ENGLAND – East Coast – Depths. – Two reductions of depth on the north side of the channel of the Thames off the Ford Motor Co at Dagenham. Unlikely to hinder leisure craft.
2. ENGLAND – East Coast – Obstruction. Depths. – One new obstruction and one reduction of depth just by the Woolwich Arsenal Pier.


1. LIMEHOUSE REACH – DUKE SHORE WHARF – TEMPORARY WORKS REMOVAL – On or about 18th May 2020 contractors working on behalf of the Environment Agency will be undertaking works to remove the temporary structures at Duke Shore Wharf. The crane barge NEPTUNEwill be moored on spud legs and positioned outside the Authorised Channel. The chartlet below depicts the location of the works and the limits of the navigation exclusion zone defined by the red boxed area. Only vessels engaged in the works may enter theexclusion zone. It is expected the works will take approximately six weeks.Workboat DIVECO5will be in attendance to support the marine operations, maintaining a listening watch to London VTS. London VTS will broadcast requests for vessels to “proceed with caution” or “proceed at slow speed”, as described in Permanent Notices to Mariners 4 of 2014 as required by the works. International Code Flags “Romeo Yankee” will be displayed when this is in effect. Further details will be broadcast by London VTS on VHF Channel 14. Image on the usual page: Notices to Mariners in the Local list.
2. GRAVESEND REACH – TILBURY 2 – NAVIGATION LIGHTS – New navigation lights have been established at the Tilbury 2 site – Image on the usual page: Notices to Mariners in the Local list.
3. Crouch HA Essential Buoy Maintenance – Fairway No 3 Lighted Buoy in approximate position: 51° 37.171’N, 000° 49.854’E has been removed for maintenance.
4. NOTIFICATION OF DREDGING ACTIVITIES LOWESTOFT HARBOUR – dredging activities are scheduled for Lowestoft as follows: – Vessel UKD ORCA – Due at Lowestoft on or around 30/04/20. Expected duration of works: 5 days. Normal working hours: 24hr Vessel UKD Seahorse – Provisionally due at Lowestoft early to mid-May. Timing and duration of works TBC. Vessel UKD Cherry Sand – Provisionally due at Lowestoft mid-May. Timing and duration of works TBC. The dredgers will be working in both Lowestoft Inner and Outer Harbour areas, also in Lowestoft Approach Channel (UKD Orca and UKD Seahorse only). They will display lights and shapes for dredging activities as prescribed in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea. The vessels will maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch 14. Vessel movements will be co-ordinated via Lowestoft Port Control. Mariners and Port Users are requested to afford the dredgers a wide berth while they are undertaking dredging operations.

5. MOD Shoeburyness – Unusual Activity Alert: Illuminating Rounds – On Wednesday 13 May 2020, from approximately 08:30hrs, QinetiQ will be carrying out activities at the Shoeburyness Range on behalf of the MOD, which may be visible in the vicinity of the Thames Estuary. The activity involves the use of airborne munitions which are designed to illuminate large areas and therefore, members of the public may observe objects similar to distress signals/flares in the sky up to 3km out to sea. All activity on the Range is conducted in a strictly controlled environment and presents no danger to the public. This work, as with the vast majority of work undertaken on the site, is subject to suitable acoustic forecasts and tide times, which are governed by weather conditions on the day. Consequently, the date of the activity may be subject to change. If members of the public are concerned by Range activity, they can call the freephone Careline on 0800 0560108.

6. Ministry of Defence (MOD) Shoeburyness: Range Sea Danger Area – In anticipation of the lifting of the Government’s COVID-19 lockdown and a return to recreational use of local waterways, it’s timely to remind local sailing and watersports clubs and associations of the restrictions in the vicinity of the Foulness and Maplin Sands. QinetiQ operates the live weapons test and evaluation Range in Shoeburyness and on Foulness Island in Essex, known as MOD Shoeburyness. The Range is active Monday to Friday (occasionally at weekends), all year round conducting activities that involve firing and detonating live ammunition, often over long distances out to sea. To enable the Range to work safely and ensure that hazardous activities do not present a risk to members of the public, it operates under the jurisdiction of the Artillery Ranges Byelaws 1936 and the Shoeburyness and District Military Lands Byelaws 1935 (under the Military Lands Acts 1892 to 1903). The byelaws govern the use of the land and rights of access and passage through the byelaw area. The byelaws cover an area of the Thames Estuary and the North Sea and the inner waterway that runs from Havengore Creek across to the River Roach and the River Crouch. This area comprises the Range Sea Danger Area (RSDA), unauthorised entry to this area is both prohibited and dangerous. QinetiQ is responsible for managing access to the RSDA and ensuring that boats, yachts and personal watercraft do not stray into the area, putting themselves and their vessels at risk. In order to help monitor the RSDA whilst the Range is active, QinetiQ uses marine surveillance radar and has a Range Safety Boat which patrols the in area and advises any unauthorised vessels to leave in accordance with the byelaws and in the interests of health and safety.

To raise awareness of the location of the RSDA and help avoid incursions by unauthorised vessels, there is a section on the MOD Shoeburyness website which is dedicated to safety information for mariners. Here, mariners can find guidance on how to safely navigate in the vicinity of the Range, how to contact Range Control for advice and the meaning of the Red Flags that the Range uses to indicate the status of the Inner and Outer Sea Areas. If you or your members sail in the vicinity of the Range, we strongly recommend that you familiarise yourself with the restrictions. Our website also has a guide for anyone wishing to access the inner waterways via Havengore Bridge (currently closed to marine traffic), and we post status alerts on Twitter to notify when either Havengore Bridge or Potton Bridge is non-operational. Follow us @SHB_Alerts.

We would be most grateful if you could circulate this information amongst your members and other contacts in the sailing and watersports community and where possible, create a link from your website to our Information for Mariners page (see link below). If you have any questions or suggestions for improving the information, please let me know. You may also find the information in the attached leaflet of interest which you can print and circulate amongst your members if you wish.

Public Safety Information – QinetiQ

There is a 2 page pdf which you can download from my web site on teh above quoted web page on the Local list.

Unusually Medway (Peel Ports) have not added the NtM obstruction in the Medway that was reported on the Forum earlier. I guess their web site isn’t being serviced. London Array isn’t up to date either.

Local NtMs compiled by and reproduced by kind permission of Roger Gaspar, author of Crossing the Thames Estuary