Vessel Movements in Restricted Visibility within Cowes Harbour
11 February 2021
(This notice replaces Local Notice to Mariners 12 of 2019 which is hereby cancelled)
Notice is hereby given that two permanent General Directions on Restricted Visibility exist as part of Cowes Harbour Commission’s safety control measures for navigation in the harbour in restricted visibility conditions.
Vessels ≥ 48m: All vessels 48 metres and above, LOA, are prohibited from navigating in the Inner Fairway or River Medina within the Cowes Harbour jurisdiction if visibility is two cables or less (0.2nm or 370m).
Vessels < 48m: All passenger and commercial vessels less than 48 metres LOA, are prohibited from navigating in the Inner Fairway or River Medina within the Cowes Harbour jurisdiction if visibility is less than 100 metres. This applies to all passenger vessels including Red Jet Hi-Speed ferries, small and large commercial vessels and pleasure vessels carrying passengers as defined by United Kingdom Statutory Instruments 1998 No. 2515, 1998 No. 2771 and 2002 No. 1473 respectively. Patrol, enforcement, emergency and rescue vessels are exempted.
All vessels, in particular recreational vessels, are strong advised not to depart their berths in conditions of restricted visibility, unless the journey is essential.
Vessels are advised to navigate with extreme caution and in compliance with the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea, in particular Rule 19 Conduct of Vessels in Restricted Visibility, Rule 35 Sound Signals in Restricted Visibility, and Rule 5 Lookout.
Mariners should not proceed without a proper review of your passage plan, risk assessment or dynamic risk assessment, which should include, but is not limited to the following:
• tidal conditions,
• other traffic in the vicinity,
• availability and effectiveness of the vessel’s radar,
• how your vessel may appear to other traffic and on radar, ensuring that you have an effective radar reflector,
• ability to maintain an effective lookout,
• ability to sound the appropriate sound signals, and
• availability of other suitable aids to navigation.
All vessels are to maintain a listening watch on VHF Channel 69 prior to arrival, departure and when underway within Cowes Harbour. When operating in restricted visibility vessels must proceed at a safe speed, sound appropriate fog signals and display navigational lights. Sailing vessels should proceed under power.
Mariners are advised that Red Jet passenger ferries and Red Funnel vehicle and freight ferries, when entering or leaving the harbour between HW-2.5hrs and HW, may be required to remain towards the eastern side of the fairway between No. 2A buoy and the 4A beacon to avoid being set down onto the western shore.
Small craft transiting between No. 2A buoy and No. 4A beacon should be prepared to alter their heading so as not to be set westwards across the fairway and should avoid impeding the safe passage of commercial shipping and ferries.
If the Harbour Master, or a duly authorised representative, has reason to believe that a vessel may not be equipped to safely enter, leave or transit in conditions of restricted visibility, they may direct that vessel to a safe anchorage or instruct it to remain alongside.
This Local Notice to Mariners shall remain in force until further notice.