Responses to a sinking ‘cruise ship’ and a fire on a container vessel were tested yesterday as part of a large-scale, multi-agency exercise in Harwich.

Led by Harwich Haven Authority and supported by the Essex Resilience Forum, Exercise Adler 4 simulated a dual maritime incident, to test all aspects of the response by emergency services and other agencies to such an event.

This included marine firefighting and search and rescue, mass landing of casualties at Harwich, co-ordinating systems for media, survivors and their friends and family, and the command and control processes.

Numerous agencies have been involved including Harwich Haven Authority and the multi-agency partners of the Essex Resilience Forum – which includes emergency services and organisations from the Voluntary and private sectors.  Exercise Adler 4 was also ‘played’ at the highest Ministerial level.

Neil Glendinning, Chief Executive, Harwich Haven Authority commented: “As with all emergency planning exercises, it’s the job of organisations that provide safety-critical services to think hard about anything that could go wrong, to develop plans to deal with any such incident and then to exercise those plans to make sure that they work. That is exactly what we are doing with Exercise Adler 4.

“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the planning of Exercise Adler 4, which has been a huge task for the Authority but also for all of the agencies taking part.”

Harwich Haven Authority has previously conducted a series of exercises under the Adler umbrella, which looked to test responses to maritime and pollution incidents.

Ian Davidson, Chief Executive at Tendring District Council, which heavily supported the exercise, added: “We are delighted with the level of involvement in this exercise, from right across the public and voluntary sector and also partners such as the Ports, and it is pleasing to hear of spin-off exercises and training developing out of Exercise Adler 4.

“Even ahead of the exercise much has been achieved in improving and furthering our preparedness just by organising the Adler 4 , and I am in no doubt that will continue after the debrief and for years to come.”



For more information on this news release contact Harwich Haven Authority Communications Manager Fiona Brunning on 01255 252310/07425 632090 or at [email protected]

Picture captions: Ipswich based Orwell Lady played the part of the cruise vessel in the Exercise. 


The rain didn’t put off the crowds who flocked to the Harwich Maritime Festival

A bumper crowd flocked to the festival on Saturday 27 July to enjoy a packed programme of top quality performers, stalls, quayside entertainment and displays by the RNLI and Svitzer tugs who sprayed their water cannon out in the harbour. The barges from the Pin Mill Barge match also joined in the action and visitors enjoyed a great view of the majestic wooden barges as they sailed through Harwich Harbour on their way to the River Stour.

Visitors were able to tour the Trinity House vessel Alert, a Harwich Haven Authority Pilot launch and Galloper Wind Farm’s workboat Seacat.

The main stage performers were J.S and the Lockerbillies (who performed this  year at Glastonbury, J.S and J.S. and the Buccaneers. The super slick Sass, Wiggle and Sass wowed the audience with their 1940s retro set and The Harwich Shanty Group and The Wivenhoe-based shanty group, The Hoolies performed on Ha’penny Pier. The day was finished off by the Colchester-based folk rock band Fishclaw.

Joining us on the day were our media partners BBC Essex. Running the programme were presenters Ian Wyatt and Steve Scruton.

‘We were overwhelmed by the amount of people who came along on Saturday despite the weather, says Fiona Brunning, communication manager, Harwich Haven Authority.

‘There was a great party atmosphere throughout the day and we have received some wonderful feedback about the diverse and quality programme we provided.

‘We promoted the event to a much wider audience this year and many visitors came in from Suffolk and further afield. Hopefully they will have seen what a great place Harwich is and come back again.

‘I would like to thank the community of Harwich for their support with this year’s Maritime Festival and our sponsors Galloper Wind Farm, Direct Solutions and BBC Essex.’

The annual Harwich Maritime Festival is set to go ahead in 2019 as Harwich Haven Authority steps in to ensure the town has its much loved annual event

Harwich Haven Authority are delighted to announce that they will be organising and staging the annual maritime festival on The Quay, Harwich, on Saturday 27 July 2019.

The festival replaces the annual Sea Festival, which was previously organised by the Harwich and Dovercourt Rotary Club and the Harwich RNLI.

The focus of the event will be to reflect both the town’s rich maritime history and its vibrant creative community. The planned festival programme will be both sea and land based – and brings together a wide range of interesting attractions, activities, live music and stalls.

The town’s iconic Ha’penny Pier will be centre stage at the event, which is set to attract thousands of visitors from across Essex and Suffolk. The festival will also incorporate the RNLI’s National Lifeboat day.

“We have taken the decision to pick up the organisation of the Harwich Maritime Festival because it’s such an important part of the Town’s annual calendar,” says Neil Glendinning, Chief Executive, Harwich Haven Authority.

“The Rotary Club has done a wonderful job over the past five years delivering the Sea Festival and we know that everyone in the town is keen that it continues. Obviously, we are also delighted to be working with the Harwich RNLI with whom we have a great relationship.

“We have changed the name of the event to the Harwich Maritime Festival as we felt it better reflected the theme of the town. However, lots of the usual attractions will be included in the programme including the barges, RNLI demonstrations and the sailing races.

“The Maritime Festival is also a great boost for the town’s economy and with a healthy marketing budget in place we hope to attract visitors from far and wide. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase Harwich’s connection to the Mayflower as we approach the 400th anniversary of its sailing to America, which takes place in 2020.”

Harwich RNLI operations manager David Thurston commented: “We are delighted to work with Harwich Haven Authority on the 2019 Maritime Festival. The festival is an opportunity for the Harwich RNLI to engage with the local community, they will be able to meet our dedicated volunteer crew, have a look on board our Lifeboats and enjoy the atmosphere of the day over refreshments in our recently refurbished Lifeboat station.”

Information about the event’s programme can be found on the Harwich Haven Authority’s social media channels @harwichhaven

Town’s beach clean-up event a massive success

More than 200 school-aged children and their families attended the Dovercourt beach clean event on Saturday 15 September organised by Harwich Haven Authority and Harwich Town’s Mayor and Mayoress Charlie and Kate Powell.

The initiative, in support of Harwich Haven Authority’s Turn the Tide on Plastics campaign, was focused on getting children involved with the local environment. Children from ten local primary schools, Scouts, Cubs and Brownies came along to support the event.

Armed with bags and litter pickers enthusiastic helpers roamed the beach and promenade areas of Dovercourt in search of unwanted rubbish. In total the group successfully filled in excess of 30 full black bin bags.

“We were overwhelmed by the support we received from local Harwich and Dovercourt families who were keen to get involved,” say Fiona Brunning, communications manager, Harwich Haven Authority.

“The blue flag beach at Dovercourt Bay is a massive asset to the town and as guardians of the Harwich Haven we are determined that future generations will also be able to enjoy its beauty.

“The success of the beach clean certainly shows that the local community – especially the younger generation – really are concerned about the damage plastic can cause to our seas and oceans.

“It was a really fun morning and we would like to thank Asda, Morrisons, Tendring District Council, the Harwich Town Mayor and Mayoress for their invaluable support.”

Harwich Haven Authority and the Harwich town mayor unite to beat plastic pollution

CEO Neil Glendinning and Kellie Barrow (left)pictured with Harwich Town Mayor and Mayoress Charlie and Kate Powell

• Beach clean-up event: Saturday 15 September – 10am to 12pm
• Meet at the Beach Patrol hut, west-end Dovercourt Beach
• Bags and gloves provided
• Free baseball cap and badge for every participating child
• Activity and information sheets for children

The beach clean event, aimed at school-aged children and their families, will take place at the west end of Dovercourt Beach.

Participants are asked to meet at the Beach Patrol hut, Dovercourt, and bags and gloves will be provided. Each child taking part will also be given a free baseball cap, badge and activity sheet.

“We’ve had overwhelming support for our Turn the Tide on Plastics campaign from  communities both in Harwich and Dovercourt,” says Neil Glendinning, chief executive officer, Harwich Haven Authority.

“Plastic pollution of our seas and rivers is hugely topical at the moment and many schools are ensuring the children in their charge are made aware of the damage pollution is doing to our environment.

“Therefore, we’re delighted to join forces with the town’s Mayor to deliver this community-wide beach clean-up event, which allows younger children to do their bit to turn the tide on plastics.”

Harwich Town Mayor Charlie Powell commented: “When I spoke with head teachers from the ten local schools in and around Harwich and Dovercourt before they broke for the summer holidays, all were very keen to be involved with the beach clean-up event.

“Harwich Haven Authority has kindly funded the beach clean and organised literature and posters to be sent to all local schools to promote the event. The initiative is focused on getting younger children involved but everyone is welcome to join us.”

It’s time to turn the tide on plastic pollution in our seas and oceans

Kasia, Gabby and Vicky give the campaign their support

Harwich Haven Authority launched a new campaign this week – Turn the tide on plastics – to raise awareness about the affect plastic is having on our local marine environments.
Each year it is estimated that billions – indeed trillions – of plastic items, such as bags, drinking straws, cotton buds and face wipes end up in our oceans and seas. The effects of which were featured on Sir David Attenborough’s recent BBC one programme Blue Planet 2. The show reported that plastic debris has now been found in the deepest, most remote oceans and it graphically featured marine creatures whose stomachs were full of everyday plastic items.

As one of the UK’s largest trust ports we exist to conserve, protect and improve the natural environment of Harwich Harbour and its surrounding rivers for the benefit of all stakeholders. Our new campaign is aimed at local residents, commercial and leisure operators and the estimated 10,000 leisure vessels that visit the Haven each year.

“The practice of disposing of plastic into our seas and oceans is now a global problem that each and every one of us must take responsibility for,” says Neil Glendinning, Chief Executive, Harwich Haven Authority.

“We hope that our new initiative will go some way to raise awareness among our stakeholders in the Haven that the time has come to turn the tide on plastic. Even small changes, such as refilling water bottles, will make a huge difference to the amount of plastic waste we produce.  As an organisation we will also be looking at ways that we can reduce our waste and recycle more efficiently.”

The awareness campaign was launched to coincide with World Environment day – 5 June 2018 – and Harwich Haven Authority staff spent the afternoon giving away reusable cotton bags and speaking with visitors about the issue on Ha’penny Pier.

The Authority will be running the campaign, which features the hashtag #plasticfreehaven, throughout the summer months and further awareness events will be listed on their Facebook page @Harwichhaven.

Harwich Haven Authority supports grass roots initiatives across Essex and Suffolk with a new £75,000 a year community fund

Left to right. Judy Dow,  Head of Philanthropy, Suffolk Community Foundation. Neil Glendinning, CEO, Harwich Haven Authority, Jo Macaulay, Head of Communications, Essex Community Foundation

Harwich Haven Authority today announce the opening of a new £75,000 community fund that will be managed on behalf of the Authority by both the Essex and Suffolk Community Foundations.

Each year the Authority will make available £50,000 to support educational, environmental, maritime and community initiatives in and around Harwich, Dovercourt and Suffolk locations along the Rivers Stour and Orwell. In addition the Authority will also invest £25,000 yearly into an Essex-based endowment fund.

Established by act of Parliament in 1863, Harwich Haven Authority is the largest trust port in the East of England. As a not for profit organisation, with no shareholders, income is generated from pilotage and conservancy services that it delivers to ships visiting the Haven ports.

“As one of Harwich’s major employers we are very much at the heart of the community,” says Neil Glendinning, CEO, Harwich Haven Authority.
“Many of our employees live in and around the Haven and the Rivers Stour and Orwell – and we already support many great, grass-roots initiatives.

“We were, however, very keen to make our community giving strategy more cohesive to benefit as many groups and initiatives as we could in and around our area of jurisdiction. By drawing on the knowledge and experience of the Essex and Suffolk Community Foundations will enable us to maximise our giving programme to our stakeholders in the Haven.”

Caroline Taylor, Chief Executive of ECF said, “We are delighted to be working with Harwich Haven Authority, a locally-based company which is taking the lead through its community giving strategy. Working with ECF in this way will enable them to not only meet the needs of communities today, but provide a long-term financial resource to support the work of voluntary organisations tackling local issues the future.”

Suffolk Community Foundation added: ‘We are delighted to be working with Harwich Haven Authority to ensure vital funding reaches our many charities and community groups working tirelessly to tackle the hidden needs of Suffolk. On behalf of those groups we are really grateful for the ongoing commitment which will help make a real difference to so many’.
Further details about how to apply to the new Harwich Haven Authority Community funds can be found at