The Port and Haven of
A Trust Port Managed by the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners under Acts of Parliament
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 -
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 -
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 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 -
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.
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