News Item

Solent Branch and Regional News - January 2017

With events taking place in locations ranging from Chichester in the east to Poole in the west, this season will be among RIN's busiest in this region

The 2016 - 2017 season opened with the Solent Branch playing a very active part in the manning of the RIN stand at the Southampton Boat Show. The Solent Branch and Small Craft SIG programmes attracted quite a number of new members and the stand itself proved to be a welcome place for visiting members wishing to have somewhere to rest their feet.

( By Solent Branch Secy _ This news item is buried deep in the wedsite - I am interested to know if it is read - anyone reading it is asked to let me know by an e-mail to

We are always pleased to have RIN's active Special Interest Groups holding events in this region. The History of Air Navigation, Small Craft and General Air Navigation SIGs are all excellent in this respect. For example, the SCG ran a recent visit to the RNLI at Poole and with "GANG" they will be running a Solent based flying and sailing event in June. This event will provide an opportunity for sailors to go flying on the Saturday afternoon with the roles reversed on Sunday morning, with a party on Saturday evening.

Our links with with local yacht clubs enable the branch to have events at which members who wish to do so, can arrive by sea. Links with young people are important and it is pleasing that this coming March the Midshipmen of Southampton RN University Unit will be attending our annual meeting at Royal Lymington YC in their patrol boat HMS Blazer..There they will be able to learn from Tristan Gooley, the "Natural Navigator" how to navigate without modern technolgy.

On the subject of navigating without modern technology, our December visit to the Chichester Planetarium organised by committee member Chis Bell can only be described as facinating and outstanding. Definitely a place to take the family - visit their website for opening times.

The arrival quite soon of the first of the Royal Navy's new carriers , Queen Elizabeth II is going to to be a very major Portsmouth event. The cost of preparing the RN base and dredging the harbour approaches is reported to be costing in the order of £100m. Our talk in early December given by the Project Manager of the company carrying out the dredging was both interesting and timely. The objects they have found while dredging have ranged from stone canon balls though to massive WW2 German mine which led to a closing of the harbour.

This region is fortunate in that it is the home of the RN and companies such as Cunard and PO, but it is also the HQ for NATS and the Ordnance Survey where we hold events every year.

Our January meeting NATs meeting attracted a full- house. As can be seen from the photograph those attending included four young officers from the Southhampton URNU. We were amazed to learn from Phil Binks of NATS that over one million "recreational drones" were bought in the UK last year and to hear about the risks their improper use can cause other users of the UK's limited and very busy airspace. At the other end of the scale, Martyn Palmer of the Korec Group described the wide range of tasks which high tech drones costing in the order of £15,000 can carry out. These include surveying farmers' fields prior to fertiliser being applied through to inspecting the underside of bridges.

Although, as can be seen from the website events section, we have activities in June, our final Solent Branch meeting and AGM will be at the Warsash Maritime Academy on Thursday 27th April 2017. The speaker at the this event will be Past President of RIN, Professor David Last. His talk has the intriging title of " The Navigation of Navigation" - we are hoping that David will fly down from Wales in his own light aircraft for this event. Please send agenda items for the AGM to

Details of forthcoming events can be found on the events section of the RIN website.


  • 02 January 2017
  • Solent Branch

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