Queen Elizabeth – the carrier – comes home

Five years ago, two sections of the Royal Navy’s first new generation aircraft carrier left the shipbuilding yard in Portsmouth  en route for Rosyth, where final assembly of the ship was to take place.  It was to be the first time that a major ship for the Royal Navy would be built in sections, in multiple yards around the British Isles.

On Wednesday 16th August 2017, ‘Big Lizzie’ as she’s already affectionately known, came home to her home base in Portsmouth for the first time, greeted by a large crowd of well wishers who’d turned out early to line the waterfront between Southsea Castle and Old Portsmouth. I wasn’t the only member of the SPS Council up at 5:30 in the morning to be sure of a close up view.  In fact, I’d been awake at 3:30 that morning and had checked on Marine Traffic so see whether she really was in the area.  No doubt about it, clearly spinning her wheels in Freshwater Bay, waiting for the tide and the waiting crowds. Continue reading “Queen Elizabeth – the carrier – comes home”

Bembridge Harbour Trust to renew bid

Posted on 07 May 2011

Bembridge Harbour Trust                            News Release 26 April, 2011
Bembridge Harbour Trust to renew bid for Bembridge Harbour.
Following the collapse of the two companies that operate Bembridge harbour into administration, Bembridge Harbour Trust will renew its attempts to buy the harbour and associated properties.
This was announced by the chairman of the Trustees, Michael MacInnes, following funding meetings in Bembridge over the Easter weekend.
Meanwhile the harbour is continuing to be operated as a going concern by the administrators who are expected to package the two companies into one for sale shortly.
The Trust, a charity, was formed nearly four years ago by concerned local residents who feared that the future of the harbour was threatened by years of neglect and poor maintenance.
The Trust’s principal aim is to buy the harbour, restore it and to ensure its ownership in perpetuity for the benefit of the local communities and users of the harbour.
Last year, the Trust made three bids for the harbour, having taken professional advice on the valuation of the harbour and its properties, but these were rejected as too low by the then owner.
“We now have a marvellous opportunity finally to buy the harbour and, if we are successful, put right years of neglect that threaten the future of the harbour as a ‘working’ harbour for sailors, fishermen and marine businesses alike”, said Mr. MacInnes. “We are ready to take on this responsibility for the benefit of everybody who enjoys the harbour for its sailing, wild life, angling, walking or as one of the Isle of Wight’s major tourist and recreational amenities”.
Mr MacInnes said that the new owner of the harbour would have to spend immediately in the region of £1/2m dredging the harbour as this had not been done for eight years and water levels were very low in places. Other urgent remedial work would have to be carried out on the pontoons, the quay walls and visiting sailors’ amenities; all at considerable cost.
Mr MacInnes and Mr Chris Attrill have already had a preliminary meeting with the administrators and advised them of the Trust wish to bid.
The Trust has over 170 founder members drawn mainly from residents in Bembridge, St. Helens, Brading and Seaview and has four distinguished patrons, Sir Robin Knox-Johnson, Lord Brabazon of Tara, Peter Nicholson CBE and Maldwin Drummonds OBE as well as an advisory board representing many local business and social interests.

“With our members and advisers, we also have wide commercial support through the local communities who have the skills and expertise so we can get the harbour up and running properly again – if we get the chance to buy it,” said Mr. MacInnes.<br> Further information:<br> Michael MacInnes, chairman Bembridge Harbour Trust: tel.: 018983 872108 or email: <a href=”mailto:michael.macinnes@btinternet.com” data-mce-href=”mailto:michael.macinnes@btinternet.com”>michael.macinnes@btinternet.com</a><br> Donald Biddle, trustee, Bembridge Harbour Trust: Tel.: 01983 875561 or email: <a href=”mailto:dfbiddle@gmail.com” data-mce-href=”mailto:dfbiddle@gmail.com”>dfbiddle@gmail.com</a><br> Note. Bembridge Harbour Improvements Company and Maritime and Leisure Investments Limited were placed in administration on 13 April following a winding up petition by HM Customs and Revenue.<br> Bembridge Harbour Trust is a registered charity, number 1120225 and is also a company limited by guarantee under company number 05671595.

Bembridge Harbour Trust T: 01983 872319 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 01983 872319 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting E: jill.attrill@bembridgeharbourtrust.org

LHC Update November 2010

Posted on 01 Dec 2010

Lymington Harbour Commissioners

Stakeholder Update – November 2010 Review of ‘W’ Class Ferry Operations & Marine Safety


In 2009, Lymington Harbour Commissioners appointed BMT Isis to conduct an independent review of ferry operations and marine safety on the river during the busy summer season. Their report also analysed ferry related incidents and undertook a review of the risk assessments related to ferry operations. Their report, was published in November 2009 and is available for download from the LHC website. Although the report contained a number of recommendations for further improvement, it concluded  “…that the low level of marine risk on the Lymington River had not been compromised by the introduction of the W-Class ferries.”  The report also concluded “… that the risk management approach adopted by LHC in respect of the introduction of the W-Class ferries complies with the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code.”


To comply with the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code, an on-going review of the marine risk management on the river is required. To facilitate this, LHC again chose to appoint BMT Isis to undertake a review of ferry operations related to marine safety on the river for the 12 month period following the 2009 review.  The purpose of the review was to:

a) Assess the interaction of ferries/other craft on the river with particular regard to compliance with International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (the Colregs); b) Review compliance with the ferry Safe Operating Profile (SOP); c) Assess the extent to which recommendations made in the November, 2009 report were being observed; d) Analyse reported  ferry related incidents for the period 1st October 2009 to 30th September 2010 and compare with the previous year; e) Revisit the risk register in the light of (a) to (d) and modify if necessary; f) Make further recommendations as necessary.

As part of the review, members of the BMT team also undertook observations on the river on four dates identified by LHC in consultation with the yacht/sailing clubs as likely to see high traffic density on the river. An “incognito” visit was also undertaken.

BMT Isis have now released their report (dated November 2010), a copy of which is available for download from the LHC website at  www.lymingtonharbour.co.uk


The principal conclusions include:

1) The risk control measures in place are working well and have resulted in a further reduction in the already low level of risk on the river. 2) There was a health reduction in reported incidents (including ferry related) over the previous year. 3) Ferries and leisure users continue to find a way to ‘co-exist’ on the river aided by good compliance with the Colregs by most users. 4) Compliance by the ferries with the Safe Operating Profile was good. 5) Compliance with the recommendations made in the previous report was good. 6) Harbour Master patrols remained effective in improving compliance with the ‘rules of the road’, and in providing education and guidance when required. 7) Wind shadow effects were observed but generally handled well by the helms of affected boats. Awareness of wind shadow effects had improved in the light of experience and through circulation of information by LHC and the sailing/yacht clubs. 8) Interaction with Wednesday Junior Sailing continued to be safely managed and well organised. 9) Ferry wash was not observed to be a significant problem albeit their remains a need to continue to manage the final approach to the berth and the use of thrust when on the berth using the existing control procedures. The proposed modifications to the ferry berth will further improve safety in this area. 10) There were some further recommendations for revisions to the Safe Operating Profile in the light of a further year of operational experience.

Lymington Harbour Commissioners are pleased to note that BMT Isis have found that safety management on the river  continues to improve and warmly welcomes the efforts of the sailing clubs, Wightlink, and other organisations for the work undertaken to ensure this remains the case.

Peter Griffiths

Latest Bembridge Harbour Report

Posted on 01 Nov 2010

Since we last reported, Bembridge Harbour Trust (BHT) has been working hard to try and purchase Bembridge Harbour, unfortunately so far without success. BHT, a registered charity, of which SPS is a founder member, was set up to buy Bembridge Harbour should the opportunity arise and to hold it in perpetuity for the benefit of the local communities. It is supported strongly by the local community. The Harbour was placed on the market by its owner, the Bembridge Harbour Improvements Company, earlier in the year. Since then the Trustees of BHT have made three offers, all of which have been turned down because they were “too low”. This has been frustrating for the Trustees because, apart from the first bid, the subsequent offers, which have included not only the harbour itself but certain sites around the harbour, have been at the invitation of the selling agents. As reported at the AGM of the Trust held in August, the Chairman Donald Biddle said that the size of the bids had been supported by independent professional valuations, so are certainly realistic. However, he said that a major consideration, and one that was most difficult to put a figure on, is the significant extra cost of around £750,000 which is required for works to put right years of neglect. In particular, this refers to dredging, which had not taken place for very many years, and some pontoon repair work, both of which are now becoming seriously urgent. The Trust continues to seek ways to break the stale-mate with the vendor. If anybody would like a copy of the Trusts’ Annual Report or would like to know about individual membership opportunities, which are always welcome, or feel that they might be able to help the Trustees in any way, please contact Trustee, Michael MacInnes on michael.macinnes@btinternet.com Michael MacInnes For Bembridge Harbour Trust – October 2010

New Ferries Stakeholders Update – No. 10

Posted on 23 Feb 2010

Whilst the Harbour Commissioners have consistently supported the need for a proper evaluation and control of any potential environmental effects of the new ferries on the river and adjacent protected areas, we must take issue with the misinformation contained in the front page article of the Lymington Times on 20th February.

The article refers to “the rise in safety incidents since the ferries arrived”. This statement is incorrect. There has not been an increase in ferry related safety incidents. In fact the opposite is true.

All reported incidents are investigated by harbour staff which can be informed by statements taken from those involved, witnesses, and through viewing CCTV camera footage, including for ferry incidents, recordings from the ferry system. A record is kept of all findings and a summary report published on the LHC website and in our Annual Report (page 4).

The report classifies the findings under 17 categories. Those relevant to ferries are:
Collision with Ferry 2008           3 2009           0 Difference   -3

Impede Ferry/Other craft 2008           23 2009           19 Difference   -4

Near miss with Ferry 2008           8 2009           7 Difference   -1

Wash Ferry 2008           5 2009           9 Difference   +4
Total 1st Jan to 31 Dec 2008         39 2009         35 Difference  -4
This is clear evidence of a reduction in incidents. In addition, a more detailed report  has been presented to the annual meeting of the River Safety Group made up from representatives of the leisure users and Wightlink. This forum ensures that there can be a full debate of any issues arising and gives an opportunity for agreement on ways that safety may be further enhanced.

This process continues from year to year and is complimentary to the extensive risk assessment trials conducted by BMT Isis to ensure the safe introduction of the new ferries.

The above should make it clear to all concerned that the safety of all river users is a very high priority for the Commissioners and that we are working hard to maintain and increase the safety of navigation.

P.T. Griffiths

Chairman – LHC