The Murray Rocks (Murrays) extend into the sea to the SE of Burgh Island, presenting a navigational hazard at high tide or in rough seas when they are obscured from view. Once upon a time, these rocks were marked by a pole with a cross on top but, more recently, only the broken remnants of a pole remain following hammering by the sea.
In the past, similar damage had occurred but was repaired through the voluntary efforts of Hugh Cater, I’m told.
A low definition chart showing the location of the rocks and associated information is available by clicking here:- Murrays chart
Considering the present situation to be dangerous to both local boat users and visiting boats, the ACA consulted Trinity House (who have responsibility for maintaining navigational markings) and we recently received the following response:-
‘I can confirm that our Inspector of Seamarks recently visited the area and observed the situation on site. His report has now been considered by mariners within our organisation who are responsible for deciding on navigational marking requirements. In making their decision, they have also borne in mind the charted and other published information available to those wishing to navigate in the area. Amongst other things they have noted that nautical publications aimed at recreational sailors recommend that local knowledge is necessary to attempt entry to the River Avon. I must therefore advise that we are unable to justify physical marking of these rocks at the expense of the General Lighthouse Fund (the Fund from which we are resourced) and that we further consider that any navigational marking, however resourced, is neither necessary or desirable.
No doubt you will find this response disappointing, however we do consider that the risks associated with navigating close to the area of the Murray’s Rocks are such that they cannot be mitigated by the provision of aids to navigation’.
This answer is indeed disappointing and rather puzzling! In paraphrase – if you have an accident on the unmarked Murrays, it’s your own fault. Why were the Murrays ever marked as a hazard in the first place? Most small boat owners, out enjoying our local coastal waters, do not carry Admiralty charts describing every hazard and even with local knowledge about the dangers that abound when leaving or entering the Avon, it would be very helpful to have the full extent of the Murrays adequately marked. Bigbury Parish Council have offered their verbal support for a new marker.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? Please use our ‘Comments’ facility on this website to express your views. You might even wish to attend the Avon Estuary Forum on 23rd November to have your say. Can we, should we, pay for our own replacement marker? Would you be prepared to donate towards it?