Frustration as Ryde’s boats are trapped in harbor

The buildup of a large sandbar at Ryde Harbor means berth holders are effectively locked in indefinitely.

For more than a month, Simon Palin has said that he cannot get his boat out of the port.

He and many others have been frustrated by the current situation, with no immediate resolution on the table.

The port is due to be owned by the city council from April, to become Ryde Marina, but port users say little attention appears to have been given to it in the interim.

On Monday, a meeting was held at the port – between local councilors and boat owners – to discuss the matter.

“Indeed, we’re locked in. We can’t get out,” Simon said.

“We’ve been stuck for at least four weeks, and even before that it was still quite dangerous.

“I’ve been emailing non-stop for the past week, but they’re not interested.

“At the lowest point of the tide you can literally go from the pontoon to the sandbar, it’s so shallow.

“There are 50 or 60 different points of view on what makes it accumulate so much.

“One guy thinks it’s all dredging in Southampton and Portsmouth where they dredge huge amounts of gravel and cobbles for all the big superyachts, cruise liners and tankers.

“The purpose of today was to discuss how to get us out quickly.

“We know Ryde City Council is making the right noises, but the Isle of Wight – they just seem to want us to hold on, but we just want to get in and out – to get what we paid for.”

A spokesperson for Isle of Wight Council said: “The authority has removed 1,500 cubic meters from within the harbor in three phases which began on September 20, 2021.

“The work was completed on October 31.

“We have a ten-year license with the Marine Management Organisation, which only allows maintenance dredging.

“It has a limited annual volume, which we have maximized during this previous dredge, prescribed disposal site and, due to the environmental designation of Ryde Sand, limits dredging activities between March 1 and October 31.

“We are investigating the issue as it is believed to be a considerable accumulation of sand since the last dredge.”

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