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Events in the Harbour

Organisers of recreational events proposed within harbour limits (e.g. from sea to Queens Road bridge Arundel) must ensure that they consult with the Harbour Master and relevant landowners and mooring operators regarding events both on and over the water, about the need for risk assessments. The need will be proportional to the activity; the Harbour Master may be able to agree that formal assessments are not needed for some low-key leisure activities. Those intending to hold a recreational event for which any form of risk assessment will be required should be encouraged to consult the harbour master at the earliest opportunity. Formal approval to such events can then be made subject to a proper risk assessment conducted by the event organiser. Where an event occurs regularly, the scope of subsequent risk assessments may be adjusted accordingly. In approving any event, the Harbour Master needs to be satisfied that risk to the safety of navigation, or other port users has been effectively mitigated. The harbour master also needs to ensure that the event organiser has consulted with, and has met the requirements of, the MCA (Coastguard), the RNLI, local emergency services, and local authority where appropriate. Also, if applicable the event should take into account the guidance provided by, and with the approval of, the national bodies representing the types or classes of craft or vessel participating.

The RYA has prepared a series of standard templates for various categories of event and harbour authorities may wish to refer to these.

Any requirement for additional resources from Littlehampton Harbour Board, be they navigational marks, craft to patrol, control, or escort the event, or any emergency or response resources, would normally be at the expense of the event organiser.

Having conducted a risk assessment, and following any advice or requirement of the harbour master, the event organiser should be required to promulgate clear details of the event to stakeholders, including where appropriate:

  • names of event organisers and officials
  • list of participants
  • list of authorities consulted
  • timetable and programme of events
  • arrangements for controlling the event, including any special communications, telephone numbers, VHF channels and call signs
  • any navigational constraints being imposed, e.g. restricted areas, or partial port closures
  • emergency arrangements
  • media arrangements.

The Harbour Master can assist with consultation (via the Advisory Body or Water Safety Forum) and through publication via our newsletter (and/or a Local Notice to Mariners).

Example risk assessments for local events are also available.

Depending on scale, your event may also need permission from Arun District Council:

Depending on the scope of the event, it may be appropriate to publish the full risk assessment and associated mitigating measures.

As part of the risk assessment, details of specific safety boats intended to provide cover will need to be made available. Safety boats need to be both suitable for the task and appropriately manned. A suggested example would be to use existing local safety boats from Arun Youth Aqua Centre or Arun Yacht Club. Any proposal to use private vessels will be considered but this is unconventional. Our rib is likely to be onsite and may attend pre planned events, but due to our vessel having wider duties within the harbour, which it may have to attend, it can’t be recorded as your designated safety boat.