Sailors left in the lurch


Owners of sailing vessels attending the Maritime Festival last Sunday were dismayed to find that some of the ladder rungs for scaling Strand Quay had been sawn off and removed, without warning, by Environment Agency (EA) staff, and the gangway heads sealed off, writes Kenneth Bird. Clambering ashore took more than usual agility and occasioned some embarrassing moments.

Fortunately, one yacht owner who docked the previous day produced a short aluminium ladder, which enabled two octogenarians moored alongside to reach the bank, by hazardously circumventing the blocked gangway.

Rye Boat Owners Association chairman and Maritime Festival organiser, Charles Bronsdon, commented that four ladders in all had suffered damage and replacements requisitioned by the harbour master last April had not yet been installed. In response to a phone call to the EA workshop at Scotts Float, Military Road, it transpired that new ladders have now been built, but a crane would be needed to install them. So a further delay looks likely before the affected moorings become accessible again.

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