Notices to Mariners Week 53 and part of Week 1 of 2021

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1. ENGLAND – East Coast – Depths – There are another 5 Notices this week and one in Week 1 of 2021 covering the off-shore banks off Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. This year has been a year of substantial changes. For example there have been 24 UKHO, several local Lowestoft and 2 Trinity House Notices this year announcing reductions of depths (some very substantial) or buoy movements in that area. I have amalgamated all the changes in all of the Notices into 5 separate images progressively from north to south (see Notices to Mariners). We can assume UKHO will issue new editions of Charts 1534, 1535 and 1543 in the future and then Imray will be able to amend their charts. C-Map and Navionics will follow suit. In the meantime I hope the images help. The big issues are:

  • The 5m contour on the north side of the Caister Shoal has extended west – the buoyage is fine;
  • The Barley SCB has been moved north guarding the Cross Sand;
  • The NW Holm SHB was substantially moved south to guard the unexpected reduction of depth of 0.3m on east side the Corton Road (important to note);
  • The South Holm SCB was moved south and the gap between the Newcombe Sand PHB thus became relatively narrow (that is the entrance to the Stanford Channel to Lowestoft);
  • The 10m contour at the Middle Cross Sand has substantially moved to the east;
  • Similarly the 10m contour of the South Cross Sand has extended north and to the west;
  • A former swatchway across the South Scroby Sand now looks unlikely;
  • The 5m contour of the north part of the Holm Sand has extended out to the east.

That is my view of the changes interpreted solely on the Notices so you must take your own view. I don’t do Pilotage so Garth Cooper (East Cost Pilot) may well add some observations as regards entering the two ports in due course. I have asked the UKHO what their plans are for new charts. It may well be because of the extensive survey area it is not yet be complete.
2. ENGLAND – East Coast – Depths. Wreck. – One reduction of depth on the North Shipwash and a slight reduction of depth over a wreck in the Shipway, The image also includes the previous changes of depth vide Notice 5371, 5578 and 5777.
3. ENGLAND – South East Coast – Depths. – Seven reduction of depth in the Gull Stream between the North Goodwin and the Goodwin Fork. None of the new depths are particularly worrying. The image includes the slight move of the NW Goodwin WCB notified earlier by Trinity House Notice 21.
4. ENGLAND – East Coast – Depth. – One reduction of depth west of the West Oaze SWB. At 14+m unlikely to hinder leisure craft!


1. The CROUCH – Dredging Operations – Burnham Yacht Harbour Marina Ltd will be undertaking their Annual Maintenance Dredging Operations in the approach to and within Burnham Yacht Harbour, Burnham on Crouch, Essex, between approximately 21st December 2020 and 31st May 2021. Dredging Operations will be carried out by Motor Vessel BEAVER. Caution should be taken when entering and leaving the Marina whilst Dredging Operations are in progress.
For additional information please contact: Burnham Yacht Harbour Marina Ltd, Tel 01621 782150
2. Medway – LNG VESSEL TRANSIT AND MANOEUVRES – a recent near miss incident involving a small fishing boat and an LNG Vessel has highlighted an issue surrounding the movement of such ships and the proximity of small boats. LNG vessel movements are extremely sensitive for a number of reasons; the size of the vessel, the level of tug assistance required, the complexity of the berthing/unberthing manoeuvre and the very nature of the cargo they carry. When an LNG ship is transiting the River Medway or in the process of manoeuvring on/off the berth at Isle of Grain all vessels are required to keep well clear and maintain a safe distance. Image can be seen in the Temporary List at: Notices to Mariners
3. Medway – Old News – INCIDENT UPDATE & PROSECUTION STATEMENT – Peel Ports London Medway is committed to providing a safe environment for all river users and reported incidents that demonstrate dangerous behaviour and serious breach of port byelaws will be investigated leading to potential prosecution. We would like to bring to your attention the following statement issued as a result of an inquiry subsequent to an accident earlier this year.
“On the 26th of April 2020 a water craft collided with another vessel causing it to sink and causing serious injury to one of the occupants. Police attended the scene and the defendant was breathalysed and found to have a levels of alcohol in his system exceeding the amount permissible for driving a vehicle on the road, resulting in his arrest. The injured party maintained that the defendant had been performing ‘doughnut’ turns around her vessel but had lost control of his vessel causing it to collide with hers.
The Port of Sheerness Ltd brought prosecution proceedings against the defendant pursuant to the Port Byelaws alleging that the defendant had failed to navigate his vessel with the requisite level of care and that he had been in charge of his vessel whilst unfit by reason of drink, contrary to byelaw’s 22 and 33 respectively. The defendant was summoned to appear before Magistrates sitting at Medway on the 10th of December 2020. At this hearing the defendant pleaded guilty to both allegations and was ordered to pay fines, compensation and costs totalling £3,950.”
4. Navigation Restriction due to Dredging Operations on the Lower Bure confluence River Yare – dredging operations programmed to commence from Monday 18 January 2021 until Friday 19 February 2021. During this period, dredging will be in operation between 08:00 hours and 16:00 hours daily, excluding weekends. The works may restrict the passage of vessels, however, the navigation channel will remain open but mariners must exercise great care whilst proceeding past the works.
The works will take place at the following approximate position: TG 51949 07951 (image available).
5. Navigation Closure due to Dredging Operations on Catfield Dyke – Hickling Broad – Catfield Dyke will be closed to all vessels, due to dredging operations from Friday 29 January 2021 until Friday 26 February 2021. Signage will be in place to warn of the Closure. The closure will take place from the following approximate positions: TG 41102 21602 & TG 39962 21866 (imager available) Vessels should ensure that the new position is taken into consideration for passage planning and when navigating in this area.

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