The River Hamble Harbour Authority

Notice to River Users 1 of 2013

HAMBLE HARBOUR: GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS AND ADVICE

This Notice to River Users is to be read in conjunction with the Bye-laws for the River Hamble Undertaking which may be obtained from the Hamble Harbour Office or on line at www.hants.gov.uk/hambleharbour.

Harbour Master’s Directions and Notices to River Users in Force

  • Harbour Master’s Direction No. 1 dated 4 January 2006, relating to the Six Knot Speed Limit, and Notice to River Users 20 of 2006 and Harbour Master’s Direction No. 2, both relating to the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS), remain in force and are appended to the Bye-laws.
  • Notice to River Users No 33 of 2012 remains in force.  All other Notices to River Users are hereby cancelled.

6 Knot speed limit
River users are reminded that, subject to certain exemptions specified in Harbour Master’s Direction No. 1, there is a 6 knot speed limit within the limits of the River (from No 1 pile at the entrance, extending upriver to Botley Mill and Curbridge). Failure to comply with this Direction is a criminal offence which may lead to prosecution.

International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (COLREGS)
Harbour Master’s Direction No. 2 makes it clear that the COLREGS apply to all vessels, regardless of size and type, that use the River Hamble. Those in charge of vessels who fail to comply with the COLREGS may be prosecuted.

Recovery of Casualties - Persons and Vessels

  • Ambulance Recovery
    The nominated location for the disembarkation of all casualties to an ambulance is the Harbour Master’s Jetty, Warsash.
  • Masters of vessels with casualties or vessels being assisted under tow with casualties aboard should call Hamble Harbour Radio on VHF Channel 68 to request assistance or, out of office hours, call the Coastguard on VHF Channel 16.

Fire and Rescue

  • The nominated recovery point for vessels in danger from fire, or vessels recovered into the harbour in danger of catching fire, or on fire, is the slipway at Warsash.
  • Masters of vessels in danger from fire who require assistance should call Hamble Harbour Radio on VHF Channel 68 or, out of office hours, call the Coastguard on VHF Channel 16.
  • Vessels in danger of sinking
  • Vessels in danger of sinking should not enter the harbour without the prior consent of the Harbour Master, which will not be withheld unreasonably.
  • Vessels in immediate danger of sinking should be beached on the slipway at Warsash, and the Harbour Master informed.


Reporting concerns relating to safety

IN AN EMERGENCY DIAL 999 Or call SOLENT COASTGUARD on VHF Channel 16 or 67

  • Harbour users are requested to report immediately to the Harbour Master any reasonable concern they have regarding safety in the River Hamble harbour. Harbour users are also requested to report incidents and damage which may affect safety in the harbour (Bye-laws for the River Hamble Undertaking, Nos. 8 and 9, refer).
  • To report incidents or damage call “Hamble Harbour Radio” on VHF Channel 68 or telephone 01489 576387. You may be asked to submit a written report. Members of the public may report their concerns by completing a form on line at:- www.hants.gov.uk/hambleharbour.  Photographs or video of incidents or damage should also be submitted if available.
  • Incidents and damage that should be reported include:
    • damage to and collisions between vessels;
    • damage to navigation marks, harbour structures or facilities;
    • malfunctioning navigation marks;
    • dangerous near-miss situations between vessels;
    • vessels proceeding at an excessive speed or creating excessive wash, and;
    • any other dangerous occurrence.
  • The River Hamble Harbour Authority complies with the Port Marine Safety Code and has appointed a Designated Person to monitor compliance with the Code and report to the Harbour Board. Any reasonable concerns regarding safety in the harbour may (in addition to being reported to the Harbour Master) be brought to the attention of the Designated Person by writing to:-

    • River Hamble Harbour Authority
      PMSC Designated Person
      Regs 4 Ships
      Digital House, Kemps Quay
      Quayside Road
      Southampton
      SO18 1AD
      United Kingdom
      e-mail: mel@marineenforcement.co.uk

VHF Radio Communications

  • All vessels whilst underway within the limits of the River Hamble Harbour Authority are advised to monitor Hamble Harbour Radio on VHF Channel 68. VHF transmissions should be kept short and relevant.
  • All commercial vessels and all vessels of 20m or more in length overall, and vessels not under command, restricted in their ability to manoeuvre, or towing another vessel or structure, are to give notice of their movements by reporting to ‘Hamble Harbour Radio’ on VHF Channel 68, giving the vessel’s name, length, position and intentions.

Pollution Prevention and Waste Disposal

  • It is an offence for any vessel, including recreational vessels, regardless of size, to discharge any refuse overboard within specified distances from land, and in the case of plastics and other persistent rubbish, in any sea area surrounding the UK (International Convention for Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78)
  • The River Hamble Harbour Authority provides the following facilities for the disposal of waste:-
    • Sewage pump out on the Harbour Master’s Jetty, Warsash.
    • General waste in the compound behind the Harbour Master’s Office and glass recycling bins in the upper car park at Warsash.
    • Oil filters and batteries at the Harbour Master’s Office.
    • Used oil at Stone Pier Yard (by arrangement).
    • Advice on the disposal of other special waste including contaminated fuel/oil and paint waste is available from the Harbour Master’s Office.
    • Time expired flares/rockets cannot be disposed of at the Harbour Master’s Office but are accepted at the MCA’s facility at Lee-on-the-Solent (by appointment – tel: 02392 552100).
  • All berth operators, marinas, shipyards and yacht clubs provide waste disposal facilities for vessels using their amenities to comply with the Port Waste Reception Facilities Regulations 2003.
  • Companies operating tugs, barges and passenger vessels in the River are expected to provide waste facilities at their base sites.
  • Any vessel experiencing difficulty in accessing waste disposal facilities should contact the berth operators, marina or shipyard etc. Persistent problems should be referred to the Harbour Master.

Pollution

  • All river users are requested to report all sightings of  pollution immediately to the Harbour Master via Hamble Harbour Radio on VHF Channel 68 or by telephone on 01489 576387.
  • At times when the Harbour Master’s Office is unmanned, reports should be made to Solent Coastguard on VHF Channel 16 or 67, or by telephone on 02392 552100.
  • Under instructions from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), it is a statutory requirement in UK waters to obtain specific approval from DEFRA for any use of oil treatment products (dispersants) in water depths of less than 20 metres or within 1 nautical mile of any such area.  This instruction therefore precludes the use of oil treatment products throughout the River Hamble harbour without DEFRA approval.
  • In the event of an oil pollution incident within the River Hamble harbour, the Harbour Office is to be informed of the circumstances as soon as possible.  Should it be considered that the use of oil treatment products will be required, the Harbour Master will seek approval from DEFRA. No oil treatment products are to be used until specific approval is given and the Harbour Master issues specific instructions for their use.  The use of ‘washing-up liquid’ (either domestic or industrial) falls within the scope of this notice.

Lifeboat, Liferaft and Safety Training

  • All vessels are warned that lifeboat, liferaft and other training operations take place from time to time in the vicinity of the Warsash Maritime Academy Jetty. These operations include simulation of rescue procedures and will involve fast RIBs.

  • Before such training takes place the person in charge of the operations should report to Hamble Harbour Radio on VHF Channel 68, stating location, start time, estimated duration and the nature of operations.

  • Hamble Harbour Radio will pass on this information as necessary to vessels calling in on VHF Channel 68.

Swimming

  • The River Hamble Harbour Authority is concerned that some swimmers expose themselves to unnecessary risk. Parents of young swimmers, and swimmers themselves, are reminded of the following basic precautions:-

    1. Never dive or jump into water of an unknown depth.
    2. Never dive or jump from any bridge or structure.
    3. Never swim near moving boats, boats running their engines or boats which may depart their moorings.
    4. Never swim in the fairway or access channels.
    5. Never swim in strong currents and/or tides.
    6. Never swim after consuming alcohol or after a meal.
    7. Beware of the cold; hypothermia can kill.
    8. It is not advisable to swim alone.
    9. Always swim within your limitations.
    10. Always tell someone on the shore where you are swimming and when you expect to return to the shore.
  • Any river user that has concerns about a swimmer should telephone the Harbour Master on 01489 576387 or call “Hamble Harbour Radio” on VHF Channel 68.

Diving

  • All diving for favour or reward (i.e. “at work”) is subject to the Diving at Work Regulations 1997 (DWR 97) and the associated Approved Codes of Practice (ACOP). Diving at work may only be carried out by a diving contractor who has notified the Health and Safety Executive in compliance with the provisions in DWR 97 and dives may only be carried out in accordance with the legal requirements. Additionally, the River Hamble Harbour Authority requires that divers at work apply for prior consent from the Harbour Authority before undertaking a dive. Details can be obtained by contacting the Harbour Master.

  • The River Hamble Harbour Authority strongly recommends that all diving (whether the diver is at work or not) should meet all of the above requirements.

  • Sport or recreational diving which does not meet the above requirements is not recommended because of strong tidal flows, the number of underwater obstructions and moorings, and the numerous vessel movements on the River.

Maintenance Piles

  • Maintenance Piles for public use are situated at:

    • Warsash – Public Slipway – 5 piles

    • Hamble – Public Slipway – 2 piles

    • Bursledon – Lands End Public Slipway – 2 piles

  • The following size and weight limitations must not be exceeded:

    • Sailing vessels up to 15m in length and/or 12 tonnes displacement

    • Motor vessels up to 15m in length and/or 20 tonnes displaceme

  • Mariners are reminded that, whilst using the piles, they are responsible for the safety of their vessel, their own safety, the safety of anyone working on their vessel and the safety of any member of the public in the vicinity. The risks involved when using maintenance piles should be considered carefully and all appropriate precautions taken.  The use of maintenance piles for the removal of anti-fouling paint is not encouraged.

Closed Circuit Television

  • This Notice to River Users constitutes a public notice in accordance with the requirements of the Data Protection Act 1998.

  • The River Hamble Harbour Authority gives notice that parts of the River Hamble are subject to surveillance by Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) systems which are monitored in the Harbour Master’s Office.

  • CCTV images are processed and recorded in order to enable the Harbour Master to carry out his statutory functions and for the purpose of promoting maritime safety, crime prevention and public safety. They may also be used in pursuing prosecutions against offenders.

  • The nature of some areas under surveillance precludes the posting of warning signs. This notice serves in lieu of such signs.

Suitability of tenders

  • Owners of vessels in the River Hamble harbour should ensure that any tender used to transport personnel or equipment is of a suitable size, stability and construction to provide safe passage in all conditions likely to be encountered in the harbour.

  • In assessing the suitability of any tender for use in the harbour, the following factors should be considered:

    • The actual and forecast weather

    • The strength of the tidal stream.

    • The effect of wind on sea state.

    • The likelihood of encountering wash from other vessels.

    • The remoteness of the parent vessel.

  • Tenders should not be overloaded and all occupants should wear lifejackets or buoyancy aids at all times.  A secondary means of propulsion is advised, along with a bailer or bucket.  A light or torch should be carried to ensure that the tender is visible in poor visibility or at night.

Access Channels

  • There are a number of channels on the River Hamble which run parallel to the main channel and give access to pontoons, moorings, jetties and slipways.  These access channels are frequently used by operators of small craft (sailing dinghies, tenders etc) who wish to remain clear of the main channel.  However, the access channels are also used by larger vessels to gain access to moorings etc.  This can lead to potentially dangerous situations, particularly where head-on encounters occur between vessels in narrow channels.  Operators of all vessels which use these access channels should be aware of these dangers and navigate with due caution.  

Safety on the River Hamble

  • The Harbour Authority does not wish to over-regulate the use of the harbour and wants everybody to be able to enjoy the full range of activities available. No one type of vessel or activity has priority or primacy.

  • The Harbour Authority has a responsibility to manage the risks associated with marine operations to ensure that they remain as low as reasonably practicable. It is appreciated that going afloat can never be free of risk and that everybody who uses the River, especially those in control of vessels, has an important role to play to ensure the River remains safe.

  • The Harbour Authority wishes to emphasise the following:-

    • The Master, Skipper or person in charge of a vessel, regardless of type or size, remains responsible for its safety, except in the case of children, where adults, event organisers or Clubs have additional responsibilities.

    • All vessels using the River must comply with the COLREGS, Bye-laws and Harbour Master’s Directions. It is the responsibility of all those who go afloat to familiarise themselves with these laws. Those who do not comply with the law may be prosecuted.

    • There may be times when it is not safe to participate in a particular activity. Before taking to the water those in charge of vessels, adults responsible for children and those organising events and races need to carefully consider the prevailing weather, tidal and traffic conditions.

    • The location chosen to launch a trailered dinghy or vessel needs particular consideration especially if the launch area is close to a main channel at a busy time and/or there are adverse weather or tidal conditions. Likewise the timing and location of race starts need careful planning by the Clubs involved.

    • There may be times when a planned use of the River has to be modified or cancelled. This is common sense and basic seamanship. This is reflected in the requirement to assess risks and put appropriate precautions in place.

    • Clubs have a particular responsibility to ensure that events which they organise, or facilities which the Club provides, are run to acceptable safety standards and that their members are kept appraised of the standards required and any possible dangers involved.

    • The River Hamble Harbour Authority has developed a Code of Practice for Races, Events and Regattas and the Harbour Authority looks to all Clubs to continue to comply with this Code.

Trawling and dredging in the River Hamble

  • It is an offence against River Hamble Bye-law No7 for the master of a vessel to use or permit such vessel to be used for drift, trawl or other net fishing or shellfish dredging in the River, except with the previous written permission of the Harbour Master and at such place and subject to such terms and conditions as he may stipulate.

  • The Protection of Wrecks Act (1973), makes it an offence to damage any part of the historic wreck of the Grace Dieu, or within a 75 metre radius of the wreck, centred in position 50º 53’.54N, 001º 17’.33W. Shellfish dredging within this protected area would risk causing such damage and may therefore constitute an offence.

  • Furthermore, attention is drawn to Southern Sea Fisheries Bye-law No7 which states that no person shall dredge or fish for or take any oysters, clams or mussels on any day before 8.00 am or after 4.00 pm (local time) within the area enclosed by a line drawn three nautical miles to seaward of baselines (which includes the whole of the River Hamble).

  • Every effort will be made to prosecute offenders. Any harbour user who suspects that such activity is taking place is encouraged to report it to the Harbour Office with as much detail as possible (eg time, place, description of vessel, name and/or registration number of vessel), so that appropriate action can be taken.

Owners, Agents Charterers, Marinas, Yacht Clubs and Recreational Sailing Organisations should ensure that the contents of this Notice are made known to the master or persons in charge of their vessels or craft