PWCs are fast, fun and are relatively easily to launch and recover which reduces normal costs associated with boat ownership. Most PWC use takes place in the close inshore zone and harbours. Jetskis also have a very high power to weight ratio giving them acceleration capabilities far in excess of most other vessels. This results in a management challenge to ensure PWC users can enjoy themselves without putting others at risk.
Jet skis and other PWCs are welcome in Littlehampton Harbour. We acknowledge that the majority of PWC users conduct themselves in a responsible manner with due regard to the principles of good seamanship. It is accepted that suitably experienced and trained PWC users pose a minimal risk to themselves and other water users. However, it is also acknowledged that some degree of management is required particularly in response to a minority of inexperienced or negligent and potentially dangerous users.
You can download a copy of the Littlehampton Harbour Jet Skis and Personal Watercraft Management Policy here or see below for a summary:
To manage these craft effectively LHB requires each PWC user to apply for a Littlehampton Harbour PWC User Permit (“a permit”) before using any slipway or proceeding up-river of the A259 bridge (just north of Littlehampton Marina).
Before using the harbour, PWC users must:
- Apply for a permit online here or at the office, providing proof of formal marine training and signing a declaration to follow the restrictions and carry 3rd party insurance. Note: Registered PWC users since 2017/18 without formal qualification are eligible for a temporary 12-month permit providing a grace period to gain a qualification (RYA or similar)
- Collect permit from the Office and receive briefing on restrictions from Harbour Master or Deputy
- Affix a registered Data-Tag to their PWC and register it with the Harbour Office including a photo
- Pay PWC fees annually or daily (£74.68 and £12.28 in 2018/19) at the office or online here
- Obey all other harbour regulations listed and Patrol Staff – any breach will result in permit being revoked
- Obey the Littlehampton PWC Club Code of Conduct
Key safety points: PWC users are reminded to monitor their wash near moored vessels, adhere to the 6.5 kts speed limit when inside the harbour and not linger in the “narrows”. Once outside of the harbour, powered craft must not approach the beach.
PWC users visiting from sea: PWCs that have launched from outside the harbour may enter via the harbour entrance without a permit to take on fuel at Littlehampton Marina or pick up passengers from the Visitors Pontoon. They must make themselves known to the Office or Patrol Craft and pay the daily PWC fee (or online at here). A PWC user visiting from outside the harbour may face prosecution if they launch or recover at any slipway or go up-river of the A259 bridge without a permit.
Carrying passengers or sharing your PWC: Please note all PWC users in the harbour will need their own personal permit except in the following two cases: (1) a PWC permit holder is also riding the same PWC, (2) a PWC permit holder with an RYA Instructors Qualification is accompanying them on a separate PWC or other craft.
Fly Boarding and Hover Boarding – Both have been operating in the harbour for a number of years now. The use of Flyboards is only permitted with prior consent from the Harbour Master and all users much first receive a safety briefing from the Harbour Master or Deputy.
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