Menu Close

Towage Guidelines

The full Towage Guidelines for Littlehampton Harbour (published June 2021) can be downloaded HERE.

Notwithstanding anything contained in these guidelines, towage requirements for individual vessels remains the responsibility of the Master after due consultation with the Duty Harbour Master or (if under pilotage) the Pilot. The harbour authority may, in certain circumstances in line with inclusions in the Collision Regulations and the harbour’s Pilotage Directions (, use their powers to direct a vessel to take a tug in the interest of the vessel and the port’s safety.

Note that RNLI lifeboats and club sailing dinghies (when towed by registered club RIBs) are exempt from these guidelines.

Pilotage is mandatory for tows where the combined tonnage exceeds 60GT. Pilotage is likely to be also required for tows where the length of tow is greater than or equal to 20 meters from the bow of the towing vessel to the stern of the towed vessel so such cases should therefore be discussed with the Duty Harbour Master. A Pilot should be booked with 24 hours’ notice, but more urgent needs can be considered.

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.