Friday, 28 March 2014

Broads Control update - successful meeting of Breydon users

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

The Breydon rangers hosted the Breydon User Group meeting in Great Yarmouth. The meeting was well attended by representatives of hire boat companies and private boaters as well as Broadsbeat, Natural England, the RSPB, local wildfowlers and a local boatyard.

The Broads wide survey for our planning department continued, as did deliveries of the 2014 edition of the Broads Authority's free newspaper “Broadcaster” by river and road.

Our crane barge was escorted back to its moorings after completing dredging and post work on Breydon Water.

A large tree was found in the river near Norwich yacht station. It was towed to the dockyard at Thorpe St Andrew where it was craned out.

The weekend patrols were quite busy with a few speeding boats (one of which was given a blue book warning) and one or two cases of bad behaviour. Patrols also checked moorings for over-stayers and litter.

A helmsman appeared in court on Wednesday  for speeding on the River Yare. He pleaded guilty and received a £200 fine and £95 costs.

Friday, 21 March 2014

Broads Control update - Moorings checks, surveys and pollution response

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

The weekend rangers were called to an unattended sinking vessel at Wroxham and managed to stop the leak in the exhaust system that was causing the problem.

Moorings throughout the Broads were checked for over-stayers and defects.

The rangers have been asked by our planning department to conduct a Broads-wide planning survey ideally before Easter. This is a big task which the rangers, assisted by volunteers, have started this week.

The free Broads Authority newspaper Broadcaster has arrived and the rangers are busy delivering many bundles of them to boatyards and other outlets ready for the start of the summer season.

A very large tree stump was discovered in the river at Horning. The local rangers, who have borrowed a workboat from our colleagues, have dealt with this and other problems in the area.

About sixteen staff attended a certified oil spill course as part of our requirement to meet our statutory obligations under the Oil Pollution Preparedness Response Regulations.

A couple of rangers attended the Broads Authority parish forum at Reedham on Wednesday evening. They were on hand to answer a number of questions from the public.

Several bye-law offences are being investigated by rangers this week.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Broads Control update - good weather means rangers are extra busy

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services

On Saturday a missing person was reported to the police and several rangers moved to an area of the Yare to assist in the search. The person was found safe and well and the search was called off.

On Saturday night a hire cruiser was reported navigating at about midnight in the Surlingham Ferry area. The six man crew was located the next day and the helmsman was given a written warning.

Sunday was busy with a sunken hire boat on the Lower Yare. Apparently the vessel had hit a mud shelf and eventually keeled over, then took on water via a redundant vent. The people had been safely taken off the previous evening when the boat was still upright. The Spirit of Breydon assisted with the recovery operation and the Authority’s RIB also attended. The facts of the case are still being investigated but the area has been inspected and marked. The vessel seemed to have been navigating very close to the banks which is not advisable anywhere in the Broads.

A rowing coaching vessel broke down near Whitlingham and was towed back to Norwich.

Two volunteers assisted a canoeist who had lost his mobile phone in the water. It was finally retrieved much to the delight of the man who wrote a nice email praising the volunteers.

Two complaints were received about a private vessel on the Yare whose three occupants were apparently swearing and being offensive to other river users. Broadsbeat were informed and are dealing with this.

The week has been quiet so far and training and essential tree work involving potentially hazardous trees have been the main duties carried out.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Broads Control update - Rangers join police for Broads exercise

By Adrian Vernon, Head of Ranger Services  

The rangers carried out a joint day/night exercise with Norfolk Police in the Wroxham area on Saturday evening. A number of rangers and officers were involved and a BA launch, RIB and the new police patrol vessel were used together for the first time. The Broadsbeat team practised and refined their operating procedures under a number of scenarios.

The weekend rangers were on hand for the very well attended Head of the River rowing race near Norwich which passed without incident on Saturday.

Complaints have been lodged regarding litter in the city and on the River Yare and the team continue with the never-ending task of clearing land-based litter that has ended up in the river. We estimate that we have cleared 60 bags of litter and many larger items from the area this winter. We will soon be undertaking a bigger sweep in the area before the start of the season. 

A broken down vessel was assisted by a volunteer ranger in the Potter Heigham area. The volunteer who was helming a launch towed the vessel back to its mooring.

A small section of the viaduct moorings in Wroxham has been closed due to the failure of the piling. Tree work has continued at Whitlingham.