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A view of a harbour

Harbour Safety

Our priority is a safe harbour for everyone. At peak times the harbour is a busy place but with a little thought, understanding and courtesy, everyone can enjoy the harbour in safety. We strongly encourage harbour users to undertake appropriate training to enhance their competence, safety and enjoyment. Please put safety first and always wear a lifejacket when afloat.

Please take time to read the harbour safety information.

General Rules whilst within the Littlehampton Harbour Limits

Mariners are reminded that under Rule 5 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, “Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation and of the risk of collision”. Further to the above, Section (b) of Rule 9 (Narrow Channels) requires that “A vessel of 20 meters in length, or a sailing vessel, shall not impede the passage of a (large) vessel which can navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway”.

VHF Radio

Mariners are reminded to monitor VHF Channel 71 when within the harbour limits. Shipping broadcasts are made on this channel advising when the navigational channel is closed due to the passage of a commercial shipping vessel. On completion of a shipping Act, the re-opening of the harbour is also announced. Mariners are reminded to stay on their moorings until this broadcast has been made. Emergency assistance is immediately available through the Coastguard and Solent Harbour Authorities via VHF Channel 16.

Lifejackets and Lifesaving Equipment

The importance of routinely wearing both appropriate and suitably tested lifejackets cannot be overstated. This minimum precaution can dramatically increase both the chances of survival and the likelihood of rescue of any persons on or near the water. Similarly, the carriage of distress flares and portable buoyancy equipment will ensure that assistance to the vessel or those overboard is rendered without delay.

Safe Speed

The Harbour speed limit is 6½ knots but we ask that once you have cleared ‘The Narrows’ inbound, you respect the request for NO WASH. The observance of harbour speed limits and maintenance of a safe speed appropriate to conditions will reduce the risk of an accident and the extent of damage or injury. An important factor in assessing appropriate speed is the effect of wash on other harbour users.

Good Lookout

It is absolutely essential that a good lookout is kept at all times when underway. A vigilant watch will reduce the risk of collision with other vessels and will ensure that assistance is rendered to vessels in difficulty without delay.

Vessel Licensing Regulations

There are legal requirements relating to small vessels in commercial use such as hire or charter. Such vessels must be properly inspected and certificated by the appropriate authority prior to operating commercially. Contact the harbour office for further information.

Reporting Incidents or Damage

Incidents involving damage or injury in the harbour should be reported to the harbour office as soon as possible. Advice and incident report forms are available at the harbour office.