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KHM Portsmouth



King’s Harbour Master Portsmouth

Direction 19/23

1. The King’s Harbour Master Portsmouth hereby gives notice of the following Direction hereby made under Schedule 1 Paragraph 1 (1) of the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order 2005, to draw attention to the effects of wash from vessels transiting and operating within the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth. 

2. Attention is also drawn to the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order 2005, Schedule 2 Paragraph 9 which states, “The Master of a vessel navigating the Dockyard Port shall navigate the vessel with care and caution and in such a manner as shall not cause annoyance to the occupants of any other vessel or cause damage or danger to any other vessel or to any moorings or other property.” 

3. General  Mariners are to pay close attention to their wash at all times when underway in the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth and are to take early action to ensure there is no impact from wash generated by their vessel on the safety of water users or beach users. Mariners are advised that some vessels generate significant wash at speeds which may otherwise seem moderate. This includes some Rigid-Hulled Inflatable Boats (RHIBs), as well as other craft, which can generate significant wash at speeds around 10 knots, especially when not planing. When within the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth 10 knots speed limit areas (Portsmouth Harbour and all other areas of the Dockyard Port within 0.5 nautical miles of the Mean Lower Water Springs line as detailed in General Direction 5/23), it may be necessary for vessel operators  to significantly reduce speed to reduce the severity of the wash generated where this may impact on other water or beach users.

4. Wash from several vessels can sometimes combine, producing a hazardous wash that is larger than that produced by a single vessel alone. Mariners are to be mindful of this risk and are to take early action to reduce their contribution to the combined wash as soon as it becomes apparent that a dangerous wash is being generated.

5. Portsmouth Harbour  Within the harbour, areas of concern include the Small Boat Channel when busy, and wash impacting on low freeboard vessels, moored vessels, marinas and other installations. Mariners are to pay special attention to the effect of their wash and adjust their speed and/or course to avoid adverse effects. 

6. Public Beaches  Documented incidents of ship wash on local beaches have highlighted the dangerous effects that unexpected large waves can have on local bathers and beach users. All vessels navigating within the area of the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth are to pay due regard to the effects of their wash and adjust their speed to minimise adverse effects, especially at times when large numbers of people would be expected to be using the beaches. 

7. Ryde Pier  All vessels, when transiting the Solent inbound or outbound, in the area between a line running North/South from the Mother Bank Buoy (500 45.5 N 0010 11.2 W) and North/South from No Man’s Land Fort (500 44.4 N 0010 05.7 W), must take all reasonable measures to reduce to a minimum the effects of their wash on ferries berthed at Ryde Pier. These measures will include, but not be limited to, an appropriate reduction of speed and, if applicable, an alteration of course to give the pier a wider berth, if passage through the area will coincide with a ferry being alongside the pier.

8. High-speed vessels must operate within the parameters of their risk assessed passage plan at all times.

9. Wootton Creek  Wootton Creek is a narrow waterway, with a number of houseboats and other boats moored along its length and is thus extremely susceptible to the effects of wash. To reduce wash to acceptable levels, exceptionally, KHM directs that all vessels operating to the west of the meridian of the mouth of the creek (Longitude 001° 12'.84W) proceed at a speed no greater than 5 knots through the water.

10. General Direction 11/23 is hereby superseded.


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