Motorboat & Yachting: Brighton Marina is to benefit from more than £1m of investment from its owner Premier Marinas, including a new dredger and refurbished pontoons.
The marina chain announced that it has bought a new £800,000 dredger for the 1,550-berth facility, which will be delivered in November.
The new dredger will set to work in the 2015/16 winter season and will be able to access restricted areas below and between bridgeheads, pontoons and fingers. What’s more, the pontoons at Brighton Marina will also be refurbished this year, in a programme which will cost Premier Marinas around £250,000.
Finally, a review of the security facilities at Brighton Marina is underway and plans are in place to install 13 new CCTV cameras.
The new works follow last year’s £675,000 investment to add finger pontoons, a lock pontoon and new electrical installations. Meanwhile, Premier Marinas confirmed that the expansion of its Gosport dry stack facility is due to be completed in time for Easter.
Yachting & Boating World: The 74-year-old went missing earlier this month after his yacht was found drifting off Brighton. Police dive teams have begun carrying out underwater searches in Brighton Marina in a bid to find missing yachtsman Len King.
Sussex Police began their operations on Monday and are expected to finish on Wednesday. The 74-year-old from East Sussex went missing on 9 November after his 70ft Sunseeker Stefefree was found unmanned, banging into the marina wall.
Sussex Police said in a statement: “Divers from Sussex Police’s Specialist Search Unit have been undertaking a search at Brighton Marina in connection with the disappearance of yachtsman Len King on November 9.
“The search is a part of enquiries ongoing into his disappearance. The search on Wednesday started again at 10am inside the marina arm.”
Mr King’s wife raised concerns for his safety late on the Sunday after he failed to return home from a solo sailing trip.
A major search operation was launched immediately after, involving several RNLI lifeboats and a coastguard helicopter, but was sadly unable to find any trace of the missing yachtsman and was later suspended on 10 November.
Speaking of his disappearance, Mr King’s wife Stephanie has previously said: “Len is an experienced yachtsman and has been sailing since he was at least 20. Normally we go together but during the week if its calm weather he may go off by himself.
“He went off just before lunch. I was expecting him home for dinner time. I phoned him several times but his phone was unable to connect so I thought he was on his way back. I called the person who has a boat next to us and he thought we were away.
“I can’t understand what has happened. He is a very experienced yachtsman. He has all his equipment doubled up and is always careful. That is the way he runs things.”
Officers are liaising with Mr King’s family as they continue enquiries surrounding his disappearance.
Premier Marinas has given an update on its redevelopment programme at Brighton, after the south coast project reached the halfway point.
The company is spending £800,000 upgrading the marina, and Phase 1 saw 42 new fingers installed on numerous pontoons, with 100 more still to come.
A new Meter Macs electricity system has been added to Pontoon 5 and Pontoon 16 will see this feature added later this month.
Other improvements set to be completed this summer include 10 new jet ski docks and the roll-out of the Premier WiFi Plus system, which allows berth holders up to four hours free access for one device per day.
Premier aims to have this WiFi system installed in all of its marinas by the end of the year.
Lastly, the upgrade work has allowed berth holders to return to their original moorings after some enforced relocation due to winter storm damage.
Brighton’s Marina Manager, Chris Magro, commented: “The damage caused by the extreme weather conditions during the winter meant that some berth holders had to move from their usual berths.
“I am delighted to report that with the installation of new pontoons these berth holders are now returning to their home berths.”