The Cinque Port and Haven of

A Trust Port  Managed  by the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners under  ancient Acts of Parliament


Site Map



  (i[r].q=i[r].q||[]).push(arguments)},i[r].l=1*new Date();a=s.createElement(o),



  ga('create', 'UA-45971267-2', 'auto');

  ga('send', 'pageview');



The first  item to be aware of is that there is a speed limit of 8 knots through the water, effective throughout The Haven.  That is from the Fairway Buoy out in Pegwell Bay to Poulders Sluice above Gazen Salts recreation ground.   Some vessels make considerable wash at this speed so masters of such vessels will need to keep an eye out astern for their wash and reduce speed sufficient to reduce that wash.  ESPECIALLY when going past moored craft.

Not unconnected with this masters of vessels need to be aware that the river and the saltings on either side are Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) providing overwintering, nesting and food for a great number of bird species.  So we ask that vessels be navigated in a manner that will not upset them.  Likewise the seals in the lower river.

Take your time - enjoy the river and wildlife.


Please remember me with your propellers and speed.  I spend a lot of time swimming underwater.

The full ‘Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea’ are too comprehensive to publish here.

However within the confines of the river out to the Fairway Buoy the general principles are:

1. Keep to the starboard (right hand) side of the river when approaching other vessels going in the opposite direction.

2. Be aware that some craft - most notably sailing vessels - can draw as much as 2 metres draft (depth in the water).  They will be ‘constrained by their draft’ and will not be able to go too close to the sides of the river so shallower vessels should give them due allowance.  This is particularly so in the marked channel around and beyond Shellness.


3. Be aware of the wrecked Vauxhall Frontera car awash at LW near the lit Isolated Danger Mark.  It lies across the river.  The wreckage is marked by a Port Hand red Can Buoy sited just upstream of the wreck.  Safe water is to be found closer to the Isolated Danger Mark where there is a metre or more water at LW right up to that mark.

Wreck buoy now replaced with Port hand red can

Wreckage awash at Low Water

This to…

… this in one winters bank erosion.

4. Debris in the river.  The river carries much debris, especially at times of Spring Tides.  A good lookout should be kept.  The Port and Haven are not the responsible body for this, but in the interests of safety it is mentioned here as a hazard to navigation and something to be aware of.  Some of the debris can be quite large and solid.

5.  Navigation of any vessel - including jetskis and their like - is the sole and absolute responsibility of the person in charge.  That person is usually referred to as ‘the skipper’, ‘master’ or ‘coxswain’.  There can only be the one person in command of a vessel.  When navigating upon the waters of The Haven the person in charge is expected to have made themselves aware of The Haven Rules as well as the complete ‘Rules for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea’.

6.  All vessels MUST carry third party insurance to a value of £3,000,000.00 and be prepared to show it when asked by the Harbour Master or his representative.



This channel is now fully silted up

Update spring 2019:  This car is now fully buried under 2 meters of mud of the silted up old channel.