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The Harbour Master and staff are regularly required to issue clear guidance and/or instruction for towage of vessels within the harbour across various scenarios. In order to ensure consistency of guidance, a set of formal guidelines have been published in a similar format to many other ports across the UK. Littlehampton’s new Towage Guidelines were drafted in consultation with Littlehampton’s pilots, our Port Marine Safety Code auditors and then via the harbour’s Advisory Body before being approved for publication by the Board.

The key guideline reads:

Before any vessel engages in towage within harbour limits, a towage plan must be discussed with the Duty Harbour Master before committing to enter the harbour or departing moorings. If it is necessary to provide towage assistance in an emergency, the towage provider should inform the Duty Harbour Master of their intentions as soon as it is safe to do so. Emergency situations must be reported to HM Coastguard via CH16 or 999 and then the Duty Harbour Master via CH71 or 01903 721 215. 

Note that RNLI lifeboats and club sailing dinghies (when towed by registered club RIBs) are exempt from these guidelines. The full document containing guidance and or requirements for a range of scenarios is available to download HERE.