Newsletter from the Commodore

It is now a couple of weeks on from Storm Emma, and it is probably time to give some update to the wider membership of how this has impacted on us all here.

Firstly we have identified at least 20 boats belonging to members that have been lost or damaged – and some of those were members’ homes. The tragedy of this, the heartache and the incredible disruption to people’s lives is immeasurable. Our hearts go out to them.

The scale of the disaster in ‘official’ terms is very big, and the complications with insurance companies, people affected, government bodies and other officials, plus the growing number of official contractors appointed to resolve different bits of the mess, has made the recovery process appear to be slow to start off. But thankfully, there is some visible progress happening now.

The environmental damage needs to be contained and this has been underway for most of the week. The next stage is for the boats to be recovered.

There are currently personnel on site from the contractors who will be doing this task. There is no information as yet as to how long this will take, but a number of boats have already been lifted from the water. This is in addition to the half dozen or so boats that were just about floating and were removed to safety in the first couple of days.

There has been a fantastic contribution made to the rescue process by a number of our club members, and without naming them, I would like to formally recognise what they have achieved. Also, the practical help and good wishes of the people of Holyhead (and further) has also been fantastic, and the club acknowledges this too.

From the club’s perspective, we have lost one of our launches, Launch 2 – ‘Steady’. This will give us a few headaches, but we are in the process of replacing it with another.

We have also had a heavy demand for our moorings, and the committee has taken the view that the club wants to accommodate as many people affected as possible. There is a decision to be made now, as to how many visitor moorings we need to keep, because the interchange between visiting yachtspeople and club members adds to the interest and prosperity of the club. And at the present time it looks as if for this season there will be little prospect of the marina being up and running as we know it.

We have had a flurry of questions about insurance for yachts on our moorings. I can let you know that the club’s own insurers, GJW have stated that there will be no issue for boats wanting to use the moorings getting insurance. The picture with other companies is varied – some will, some won’t, some have increased the price and some have put on extra conditions. Best advice is shop around if you have problems.

We still have a few operational issues to sort out – like how to operate the launch at low water. All of us as harbour users are very much hoping that the marina will be able to re-instate a landing stage at least, but if this doesn’t happen then rest assured we will work out a solution.

In the middle of all this chaos, the work on refurbishing the moorings has started. We are using the Caernarfon Harbour Trust to carry out this work, and our bosun Brett Barker is on board making detailed notes about the condition of the moorings tackle. We are very pleased that this year we have the opportunity of raising the ground chain on four of our trots to have a good look; we are really happy at the condition of that ground chain.

We are now in the run up to the start of the season, looking forward to seeing everyone back on the water enjoying their sailing.

Kim Argyle



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