Thursday, 31 October 2013

Storm news and latest Broads control update

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

Following a quiet weekend staff were kept busy at the beginning of the week when the strong winds hit the Broads.

On Monday at Oulton Broad a house boat sank and another vessel dragged its mooring, Authority staff assisted with the marking and recovery.

One hire vessel was hit by a tree at a public mooring at Loddon on Monday and two Rangers, having just cleared a few small trees at Whitlingham, dealt with the problem.

Big waves at Breydon Water meant it was closed to hire traffic later in the day. But, despite hirers being advised not to cross Breydon earlier in the day by their yards and Authority quay assistants, it didn’t stop them trying.

They were kept out of trouble however by rangers and staff at Breydon Bridge keeping watch.
At Berney Arms a man fell in and was rescued by his family one of whom injured her finger. The man was airlifted to hospital but was released later in the day.

Elsewhere in the broads a few small trees came down but there were no significant incidents.
The following day on Tuesday the rangers dealt with some small trees at Coltishall and generally checked the system. 

Late on Tuesday afternoon when it was already dark a distraught visitor raised the alarm that her husband,  who was not an experienced canoeist, was overdue from a trip on the Waveney.

Broads Control contacted the coastguard and three off duty went to assist in the search but just as it had started the canoeist arrived back. He had been wearing a buoyancy aid but was dressed in dark clothing and had painted his canoe black so would have been very difficult to spot in the dark had he capsized. He also wasn’t carrying a means of communication.

The search was called off and he received words of advice from one of the rangers as well as his wife.
The previous Friday the local ranger together with volunteers continued tree clearance work on the Thorpe New Cut and we have now returned to more routine work including moving on over stayers at moorings, escorts of large work rigs on the Southern Broads and sorting out several allegations of failing to stop damage only incidents.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Latest Broads control update

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

Sadly a Broads Authority staff member had to help police officers and the fire and rescue service recover a body from the river Wensum near the law courts in Norwich on Tuesday.

Officers from Norfolk Constabulary are currently investigating the circumstances surrounding the discovery after a member of the public raised the alarm at around 4.10pm.

The Authority has also been working with police to interview a man at Wymondham police station following an incident involving public order and Broads byelaws at Rockland Staithe earlier in the year.

He was charged with a number offences including  not navigating with care and caution, helming under the influence of drink or drugs and playing loud music. He was fined and ordered to pay costs totalling £230.

The Breydon patrol this morning (Thursday) are assisting a broken down survey vessel in the bridge hole while there reports of a vessel on fire turned out to be smoke caused by oil dropping on the engine manifold.

Rangers have also been undertaking joint patrols with the Environment Agency fishing bailiffs in the Wroxham, Horning and Potter Heigham areas. Several anglers were reported for not having fishing licences and not attending their rods.

Routine work has included dealing with complaints of anglers not giving way to boats at Bramerton and investigation work on prosecution case files.

And after the high tides and strong winds last week a number of dead fish were found in the River Thurne. A number of barge escorts which were cancelled due to high winds are now being undertaken in the Yare and Waveney.

Rangers have been engaged in tree work upstream of Wroxham plus cutting and brushcutting in the Thurne. Others have undertaken footpath surveys and have attended parish council meetings.

More tree work has been undertaken by rangers on the river banks at Thorpe.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Whitlingham barn café soon under new management

The café at Whitlingham barn will soon be under new management following a complete refurbishment.

A competitive tender process was carried out by the Broads Authority which awarded the contract to run the concession to Churchill Catering which also operates the café at Thetford High Lodge.

Indication is that the café will close from November 10 for substantial improvements and re-open around the end of the month.

Exact dates and details will be confirmed here as soon as they are available.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Navigation Committee will look at new toll setting on Thursday

Members of the Broads Authority's Navigation Committee will be meeting next Thursday, 24 October, to discuss options for the navigation budget and navigation charges (tolls) among other items.

The meeting starts at 1pm at Yare House, 62 to 64, Thorpe Road, Norwich, NR1 1RY. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

The full agenda is here.

Latest Broads control update

(Apologies for the lack of update over the past few weeks - we will be posting more regular updates in the future)

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

The winds and tides which had caused havoc across much of the county last Thursday turned out to be not too much of a problem for Broads rangers despite the fact that the bow spray had been landing on the cabin roof of one hire boat which had left early to cross Breydon.

High tides were predicted but the only problem caused by the weather were two trees which had come down on the River Waveney in the high winds.

On Saturday a vessel was reported drifting at Acle and it was at first thought that the owner was on board and the worst was feared but the owner was found safe and well and the vessel was resecured.

At the same time police nearby were investigating a theft from a digger, which may be part of a possible minor spate of crime near the river at Acle. A Hardy 17 vessel which was found sunk at Stokesby after being stolen from Acle was recovered on Friday.

A vessel ran aground at turn tide witnessed by the Breydon launch crew who quickly assisted in refloating the hire boat.

We have been dealing with some persistent over stayers at two 24 hr. mooring on the Yare. Eight prosecution case papers have been handed in by the rangers following the busy summer months.

I joined the EA fisheries team on Wednesday afternoon as they raised the fish barrier at Potter Heigham which allows fish to find sanctuary from saltwater surges.

Work has been started on the replacement Horsey viewpoint and the rangers have been engaged in tree work in Thorpe.

The Breydon Team Rangers hosted the Breydon Users Group meeting at the Gt.Yarmouth Tourist Information Centre.