2.37 m VHF: Channel 69 Report an Incident

News - 05/01/15

CHC E-news bulletin – May 2011 update

You are most welcome to attend this evening’s Cowes Harbour Commission annual public meeting. It will be held in the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Cowes from 19.00hrs. Harbour Master, Stuart McIntosh will present highlights from the 2010/2011 Annual Report and Accounts, as well updating on the Cowes Outer Harbour Project. 

The accounts for 2010 can be viewed online at http://www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk.

A new navigation beacon has been established marking the northern extremity of the Shrape Mud off East Cowes. Several yachts and motorboats have found themselves aground on the mud each year which extends up to 370m offshore. The beacon is red and fitted with a red Top Mark and Red Light with characteristics L.Fl.R.10s.

The Harbour Commission recently installed a transmitting tide gauge in Cowes harbour. A live feed is currently being monitored at the Harbour Office and will shortly be available to view online in real time via the Harbour Commission’s website and Cowes.co.uk. Rod Hodgson, Deputy Harbour Master commented, “Once this data is available, a yachtsman will be able to see the precise state of the tide in Cowes. It should be online via our websites and perhaps even on mobile devices very soon.”

The publishers of the Cowes Port Handbook, Island Holiday Media, has developed a new Cowes app for the iPhone featuring content from the Handbook and Cowes.co.uk. The app has been created in partnership with Netguides of Cowes and will be available for downloading from the iTunes app store from 25th May, subject to approval by Apple.

Tim Addison, from IHM commented, “The app is free to download and will not be officially launched until June, when there has been an opportunity to test the app’s functionality. In the mean time, we would invite you to preview the app and let us know what you think of it.”

Cowes Clubs and Classes have highlighted in their Sailing Instructions the hazards associated with the unique location of the start lines across the main harbour fairway in Cowes. All Cowes yacht clubs have now implemented a notification procedure that has been developed with the involvement of Cowes Clubs and Classes, Red Funnel and Cowes Harbour Commission.

The notification gives advance warning to Red Funnel Ferries and Cowes Pilots of racing using a Cowes shore line start, this enables the master, when appropriate, to avoid crossing the start lines during the final moments of the starting sequence so as not to adversely affect the start of a race, however this will not always be possible so we ask all race boats to:

1. Listen to the VHF – (CH 37 if racing). Keep a good look out. Think ahead.
2. Think of it from the perspective of the commercial vessel’s bridge crew, who for very good reasons, will not have the same interpretation of “keeping clear”
3. Comply with the Collision Regulations and Sailing Instructions and in particular Rule 9.

Cowes Harbour Commission would like to thank the Cowes Clubs and Red Funnel for implementing the notification procedure and for their continued support, which will hopefully allow the yacht racing and commercial traffic to continue to, operate safely side by side.

Finally, this is a timely opportunity for the Harbour Commission to praise the action recently taken by a Cowes yacht club and class association over a close quarter’s incident. A potentially dangerous situation developed during the early part of a race start sequence that required a Red Funnel vessel to take significant avoiding action.

The skipper in question subsequently accepted a race ban from the class association which sent a very clear message about the importance of strict adherence to the rules of navigation at all times. It is vital that yachtsmen keep a good look out, think ahead and remember that participating in a yacht race offers no opportunity to ignore the Collision Regulations.

Recreational boating should be fun, but the safety of your crew is of paramount importance. Responsible owners will have a lifejackets on board for all crewmembers but when were they last serviced?

To facilitate the annual checking of these vital pieces of safety equipment, SeaSafe, a renowned manufacturer of marine safety products are establishing a U.K wide series of service points to which you can take your life jacket. This service is being introduced in Cowes at Shepard’s Wharf Marina, so call in for information and drop in your life jackets for that vital service check.

Please keep in touch!
Don’t forget that Cowes Harbour Commission is always happy to gain feedback on its services and on the issues it is tackling on your behalf. If you want to talk to the Harbour Master, Capt. Stuart McIntosh or to Rod Hodgson, the Deputy HM, please feel free to call into the Harbour Office on Town Quay, or phone and make an appointment on Tel: 01983 293 952, or email chc@cowes.co.uk.

Cowes Harbour Commission also owns and operates the following commercial services: Shepards Wharf Marina, Kingston Marine Services, Cowes Harbour Moorings and Cowes Harbour Fuels.