The principal aim of CHC’s harbour patrol and enforcement policy is to educate and advise harbour users of safety on the water, including relevant Cowes General Directions, and help all mariners safely use and enjoy the harbour and Medina Estuary.
Our harbour patrols are on duty 365 days of the year, providing friendly advice, assistance and directions to mariners; they use conspicuous yellow RIBs, which may display a blue flashing light when attending an incident. The Patrol Officers are contactable on VHF Channel 69 and can help with general enquiries and give mooring instructions,but please keep your communications brief as Ch69 is also the port working frequency.
With the sailing season upon us, CHC has increased patrols on the River Medina offering guidance and advice to visitors to the harbour and Cowes-based mariners alike. You will find one of our two patrol RIBs on station in the Inner Fairway or available on VHF Ch69 between 0800-1800; these hours will be extended as the season progresses. Our RIBs are manned by either Barry, Dave or Dan, who between them have over 30 years of experience with CHC.
New for 2015 will be the introduction of Body Worn Video (BWV) cameras for each of our Patrol Officers. CHC’s investment in BWV cameras is part of the Commission’s ongoing education and enforcement policy of our General Directions, which are so important for the safety and well-being of all those who enjoy Cowes Harbour.
The BWV cameras provide additional security to our Patrol Officers who will be able to play back video footage of incidents for education purposes, and, if deemed necessary, the footage can and will be used in support of a relevant prosecution. The introduction of BWV cameras will help to ensure, for example, that there will be fewer boats speeding in the harbour and river, making it a safer environment for all.
We strongly recommend that you familiarise yourselves with the contents of our Cowes Local Notices to Mariners which give updates on the safe navigation of the harbour including Cowes Breakwater works, the Small Craft Channel, Chain Ferry, aids to navigation and more.
Top photo: Patrol Officer Dave Lewis at CHC’s Shepards Wharf Marina.