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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    573

    Default Nieuwport Firing Range

    I must admit that there are so many lines on the chart along the Belgian coast, many with duck symbols showing nature reserves,that I had not spotted the implication of the 'flame' or explosives symbol on some lines, or imagined that anyone could run a firing range along a coast frequented by so many yachts. Nor did I understand the flemish warnings that I would have heard on the vhf,so I was surpised as I spun along in June ,downwind under half a jib and surfing down the waves at over 7kts and under wind vane control to be approached by a tubby launch with a man holding up a large board directing me to another VHF channel.
    I had been aiming to pass inside the Stroombank to enter Ostende so probably just within 2 Nm of the coast.So I was a bit put out (and in disarray) to be suddenly told by a polite but firm lady to take a direct course at 90 degrees to clear the range extending 4 miles out to sea.In fact the wind direction allowed me to continue seaward on a reach in fairly large waves and eventually my request to turn back was accepted.In fact the lady admitted that use of the 4 mile range extension had now been abandoned anyway.Good news for the yacht behind me who had just entered the range where I had.
    I must have been lucky passing previously and I wonder if others have had the same surprise.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Suffolk
    Posts
    5,481

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    Not had the problem there although we have been shooed away from Lydd ranges by a tubby man in a tubby boat.
    Seems a better option than being shelled!
    Pardon?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Summer Walton, Winter Iberia
    Posts
    10,322

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    Quote Originally Posted by Champagne Murphy View Post
    Not had the problem there although we have been shooed away from Lydd ranges by a tubby man in a tubby boat.
    Seems a better option than being shelled!
    Where Lydd range is concerned, vessels have right- of-way over firing.
    🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿Neither a Remainer or a Leaver be. Hoping for the best but planning for the worst✔️

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Home-Sidcup, boat-Lower Halstow, Kent, England
    Posts
    567

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    We wandered into that range back in May, heading from Oostende to Gravelines. We were a group of 4 boats and I was the only one with AIS. Three of us decided to go a bit further offshore whilst the other boat took the inshore route. Soon after leaving Oostende we started hearing a vessel Yeddo being called on the radio. My boat name is Jeddo. We commented about the similarity, but it didn't register that a J is pronounced as we pronounce Y. Eventually a different lady came on pronouncing it in English, to which we responded. We were told the range extended 7 miles offshore and should steer 300 degrees. It was only zooming in on the Garmin Plotter we found a reference to a note. A search through the menus got us to the note that said Military Practice area. We reached a row of Cardinal marks that appeared to be the perimeter and one of the other boats tried to get hold of the range again on 67 where we had been communicating with them. There was no response from the range, but Dover Coast Guard picked up the call and asked which range was he trying to contact. Belgium Coast Guard immediately jumped in saying it was in their water and all under control. Shortly afterwards the range contacted us and said firing for the day was finished and thanked us for our cooperation. The boat that went inshore was approached by the patrol boat, but was allowed to continue. Not sure if that was due to us holding up any firing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Essex
    Posts
    22,868

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    Our first return in our new boat approaching Kiel from the East was met with a peremptory "You vill head 350 degrees for five miles or ve vill blow you out of ze vater". Actually, I made up the last bit, but it felt like that.

    Lulworth was more polite, though we didn't stray into their playground. Near the end of the day a French yacht approached Weymouth close inshore. The range chappies talking to each other referred to it rather wearily as having taken the 'scenic route'.
    Far away is near at hand in images of elsewhere

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Wales
    Posts
    925

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    Quote Originally Posted by bluerm166 View Post
    I must admit that there are so many lines on the chart along the Belgian coast, many with duck symbols showing nature reserves,that I had not spotted the implication of the 'flame' or explosives symbol on some lines, or imagined that anyone could run a firing range along a coast frequented by so many yachts. Nor did I understand the flemish warnings that I would have heard on the vhf,so I was surpised as I spun along in June ,downwind under half a jib and surfing down the waves at over 7kts and under wind vane control to be approached by a tubby launch with a man holding up a large board directing me to another VHF channel.
    I had been aiming to pass inside the Stroombank to enter Ostende so probably just within 2 Nm of the coast.So I was a bit put out (and in disarray) to be suddenly told by a polite but firm lady to take a direct course at 90 degrees to clear the range extending 4 miles out to sea.In fact the wind direction allowed me to continue seaward on a reach in fairly large waves and eventually my request to turn back was accepted.In fact the lady admitted that use of the 4 mile range extension had now been abandoned anyway.Good news for the yacht behind me who had just entered the range where I had.
    I must have been lucky passing previously and I wonder if others have had the same surprise.
    Kek, there's a firing range near newport too...XD Under the same sort of conditions

    Castlemartin, Manorbier, Penally (Pembroke) and Caerwent (closer to Chepstow than newport but still). Caerwent is usually not a problem due to the type of training they conduct. If you're instructed to take action a chill should run up your spine, it is because Live Firing is or is about to take place. For your own safety, switch on the engine and make all haste out of the area. To be fair, sounds like they messed up and didn't have a proper watch out hence the Training Safety Officer called it off.

    If there's no live firing, they generally don't mind you going through.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    1,708

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    The firing range at Lombardsijde next to Nieuwpoort harbour is active throughout the year, except for weekends and school holidays, so not in July and August, for two weeks around Easter and the week of the first of November.
    The firing range can be contacted on VHF 67 ‘Sector Lombardsijde’.
    When the range is active, it is indicated in the harbour channel on the starboard side when exiting and there is a guard boat near the entrance. Firing can take place in three sectors: small, intermediate and large, and that will determine the detour you have to make.
    It is always good to call the range officer, in many cases you can negotiate free passage. They always take a break at noon and close quite early in the afternoon.
    All the details are here: https://m.mil.be/nl/zeewaartse-schie...omain_switch=0
    Or in the Belgian Notices to Mariners: https://www.afdelingkust.be/nl/beric...an-zeevarenden Normally the dates are published in the first NtM of the year.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Normandy
    Posts
    1,088

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    Quote Originally Posted by bluerm166 View Post
    I must admit that there are so many lines on the chart along the Belgian coast, many with duck symbols showing nature reserves,that I had not spotted the implication of the 'flame' or explosives symbol on some lines, or imagined that anyone could run a firing range along a coast frequented by so many yachts. Nor did I understand the flemish warnings that I would have heard on the vhf,so I was surpised as I spun along in June ,downwind under half a jib and surfing down the waves at over 7kts and under wind vane control to be approached by a tubby launch with a man holding up a large board directing me to another VHF channel.
    I had been aiming to pass inside the Stroombank to enter Ostende so probably just within 2 Nm of the coast.So I was a bit put out (and in disarray) to be suddenly told by a polite but firm lady to take a direct course at 90 degrees to clear the range extending 4 miles out to sea.In fact the wind direction allowed me to continue seaward on a reach in fairly large waves and eventually my request to turn back was accepted.In fact the lady admitted that use of the 4 mile range extension had now been abandoned anyway.Good news for the yacht behind me who had just entered the range where I had.
    I must have been lucky passing previously and I wonder if others have had the same surprise.
    FYI: Belgian Coastguard website - last item.
    Firing exercises seem to be referred to as 'shootings'.

    https://gardecotiere.be/en/faq-list?...faq_type_tid=6
    My Karma ran over your Dogma.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Medway, Gillingham Reach
    Posts
    1,062

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    Quote Originally Posted by johnalison View Post
    Our first return in our new boat approaching Kiel from the East was met with a peremptory "You vill head 350 degrees for five miles or ve vill blow you out of ze vater". Actually, I made up the last bit, but it felt like that.
    Is that the one just west of Fehrmarn on the right as you come out of Kieler Bucht? If so I wandered into that one in June during an electrical storm when it was absolutely dark at 1600 hours. Had been steering to clear the yellow marker buoys as had listened to the live firing message on VHF. But in the dark the yellow buoys didn't show lights I wandered into the area and when the storm cleared recognised the boat being called at a certain lat/long was me. Was directed to leave the area as I was in a NATO naval live firing exercise. Found the line of yellow buoys again and started to head around them as I was heading for Fehrmarn. Was interested to notice that inside the buoys a Russian fishing boat that I hadn't heard called was steaming along closely followed by a grey gunboat of unrecognisable nationality. Having a VHF conversation with NATO Control is quite exciting.
    John Apps

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Colchester, Essex
    Posts
    4,750

    Default Re: Nieuwport Firing Range

    About 2017 we were going to Chatham from Shotley whilst on hols, going down the Maplin edge and OUTSIDE the range we were told to go at least half a mile further east by the guard boat... Having done that, we were quite surprised to see shells landing behind us nearly hitting the Barrow !
    Larry Botheras

    Colvic Victor 35 "Gladys"

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