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LOCAL NOTICE TO MARINERS NO 11 OF 2011

March 08, 2011 12:42 0 comments

RECREATIONAL SAFETY


NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Cowes Harbour Master to draw attention to basic safety measures to follow and extracts from the most relevant Cowes Byelaws and Local Notices to Mariners so that awareness is increased as to the dangers associated with small craft and navigation of such craft within Cowes Harbour.

1.WEARING OF SUITABLE CLOTHING, LIFEJACKETS AND CARRYING OF LIFESAVING EQUIPMENT (INCLUDING FLARES)
While not a legal requirement for certain types of small private recreational craft; the habit of routinely wearing both appropriate and suitably tested lifejackets cannot be emphasised sufficiently as a minimum precaution (especially children). This includes when travelling to and from your vessel by dinghy or tender when a disproportionate number of man overboard incidents occur. Appropriate clothing should be worn and safety equipment carried including a VHF radio and flare pack.

2.WEATHER
A good appreciation of the likely weather and sea state to be encountered on the planned passage is essential. Wind against tide can cause a steep confused sea which may at best be uncomfortable for some small craft.

3.SAFE SPEED (Byelaw 12 /1972) (LNTM 08 /2011)
The maintenance of a safe speed at all times, within the declared speed limit (6 knots in Cowes harbour) is directly proportional with risk to both life and property. Not only is this relevant to the occupants of the “speeding” vessel but also to those who encounter the associated wake. The LNTM and Byelaw, is and will continue to be strictly enforced by Cowes Harbour Commission.

4.VHF USE (LNTM 05 /2011)
•Whether for business, pleasure or distress, when using VHF radio, be precise and be brief.
•Always use the correct procedure and channel. Persons making a broadcast on marine VHF should possess a valid licence.
•Within Cowes Harbour, vessels over 30m in length and all ferries will broadcast their movements on Ch69 at set points as listed in LNTM 05 / 11 (VHF Communications).
•Vessels >20m in length should contact the Cowes chain ferry to agree an unimpeded passage prior to passing.

5.COWES CHAIN FERRY (LNTM 27 of 2010)
•The Cowes Chain Ferry (Cowes Floating Bridge) is situated within Cowes Harbour and in close proximity to the blind bend of the River Medina, all mariners should navigate with caution in the area of the chain ferry.
•The Chain Ferry is required to give way to all river traffic however vessels under mechanical propulsion approaching the chain ferry by reason of good seamanship may reduce their speed if safe and practicable to allow the chain ferry to complete her passage to the opposite bank, passing astern of the chain ferry.
•The clearance over the chains is a minimum of current tide height + 1.5m in the centre of the available water when the chain ferry is moored at either river bank.
•See LNTM 27 of 2010 for full details of safe navigation in the vicinity of the chain ferry.

6.NAVIGATING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF DRINK OR DRUGS (Byelaw 45 of 1988)
•No persons shall navigate or attempt to navigate a vessel when unfit by reason of drink or drugs.
•No Master or owner of a vessel shall knowingly cause or permit any person to navigate or attempt to navigate that vessel in contravention of this Byelaw.

7.SWIMMING (Byelaw 48 of 1992)
Swimming is prohibited within the main navigable fairway and approaches and in areas around berthing and mooring facilities.

8.ANCHORING
Anchoring is prohibited within the main fairway and navigable channels, small craft moorings, in the area of the Chain Ferry, and also in the area of the cable and pipeline crossings at Kingston as charted and indicated by notice boards on shore.

9.NAVIGATION IN FAIRWAYS (Byelaw 37 of 1984 & 44 of 1988)
Mariners in “small vessels” are reminded of the following requirements:
•If not confined to the fairway, they should not use the fairway so as to obstruct
other vessels which can only navigate within the fairway i.e. Red Funnel Ferries,
•When crossing the fairway, they should do so at right angles and not diagonally
•When leaving a marina or mooring they should give way to vessels navigating within the fairway or Roads
•As a general principle, they should navigate on the correct side of the fairway
•Sailing vessels are strongly recommended to use their engines if fitted when navigating within the fairway.
•See LNTM 07 / 2011 for full details

10.SMALL CRAFT MOORING AREAS TO BE AVOIDED
All vessels except those involved in yacht races and low powered vessels restricted by tidal flow are requested to comply with the following:
•to enter/leave the fairway in the vicinity of number 1 and 2 fairway buoys clear of any harbour moorings
•Vessels approaching/departing Cowes Harbour from/to the east are requested to pass to the north of all swinging moorings. During the hours of darkness this can be achieved by passing to the north of the lighted ‘Snowdon’ special mark Fl.Y.4s and due south of the Trinity House Buoy Fl.Y.5s before altering course for the harbour entrance.
•Vessels bound to and from the west are requested to pass clear to the north or south of the line of moorings laid approximately 100metres off the ‘Green’ between the Royal Yacht Squadron and Egypt Point.
•See Local Notice to Mariners 10 / 2011 for full details

11.HARBOUR GUIDE
Cowes Harbour Commission publishes a Guide to Cowes Harbour. This Guide is available on the port’s website, www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk

12.BOAT LICENSING REGULATIONS
For the small pleasure boat user who hires out or has paying guests there is a legal requirement to achieve successful inspection and certification on an annual basis. Craft plying for hire within Cowes Harbour should display an IW Council Boat Licence plaque or MCA Passenger Certificate in a conspicuous place on the vessel.

13.SAIL BOARDING AND KITE BOARDING (Byelaw 36 / 1984)
No person shall engage in sail boarding or kite boarding in the fairway or approaches, sail or kite boarding is restricted to areas clear of all navigation channels, moored craft and the approaches to commercial berths.

14.WATER SKI-ING, AQUAPLANING (Byelaw 19 and 20 of 1972)
No person shall engage in water skiing or aqua-planing within the harbour or roads without the prior written permission of the harbour master.

15.REPORTING DAMAGE OR INCIDENTS (Byelaw 21 of 1992)
See LNTM 06 / 11 for full details.

16.WEBSITE ADVICE/INFORMATION
The following sites are all relevant to enhancing recreational safety on the water and worthy of revisiting and updating before returning afloat this year.

www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk
for Cowes Local Notices to Mariners and Byelaws
www.qhmportsmouth.com
for QHM Local Notices & General Directions
www.mcga.gov.uk
for general information and advice
www.southamptonvts.co.uk
for Southampton local information
www.maib.dft.gov.uk
for MAIB Reports/ Actions
www.rya.org.uk
for recreational safety and information


17.ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES (Byelaw 51 of 1992)
Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) is responsible under the Port Marine Safety Code for the effective enforcement of its regulations, which are adopted in order to assist in managing the safety of navigation within the port. Enforcement comprises the promulgation of regulation and guidance, effective surveillance, incident investigation, and where appropriate formal warning and prosecution. Our policy is based on education in the first instance and generally only reverting to prosecution for repeat offenders, for offences bringing significant risk of serious injury or loss of life or for when users threaten or abuse our staff members. Where appropriate, and where empowered to do so, CHC will prosecute offenders for committing criminal offences, including those set out in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and in ancillary regulations and byelaws. Any person who contravenes or otherwise fails to comply with any Byelaw shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding level 3 on the standard scale, £1000 in 2011.

18.BYELAWS and LOCAL NOTICES TO MARINERS
Cowes Harbour Byelaws and valid Local Notices to Mariners can be viewed in full and downloaded from the harbour website.


Captain S McIntosh
Harbour Master, Harbour Office, Town Quay, Cowes, Isle of Wight, PO31 7AS

Email: chc@cowes.co.uk Internet: www.cowesharbourcommission.co.uk

8th March 2011

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