Each year there are over 10,600 movements of Wightlink’s vehicle and passenger ferry service between Lymington and Yarmouth Isle of Wight.
In addition there are an estimated 14,000 movements of smaller passenger ferries or river cruise trips. These include passenger ferry services between Lymington and Yarmouth Isle of Wight operated by Scoot Ferries and Puffin Cruises and river pleasure trips operated by Puffin Cruises.
To reduce the risk of incidents between ferries and small craft the following points should be noted:
- Sailing vessels and vessels under 20 metres in length must not impede the passage of larger ships. Subject to adequate depth of water this means keeping well to the edge of the fairway on the correct side of the channel for the direction of travel.
- When approaching the Wightlink ferry terminal in Lymington mariners should take particular care. Local Notice to Mariners 10/2014 sets out guidance on ferry arrival and departure protocols, and the recommended actions for other craft.
- Keep a good look out, both ahead and astern, when navigating the harbour. Remember that it is not always possible for the Masters navigating commercial vessels to keep sight from the bridge of yachts passing close ahead or astern.
- Always take into account the interaction between vessels (pressure and suction effects) that occurs between vessels in close proximity.
- Ferries have powerful propulsion units and feathering propellers cause turbulence that can be hazardous for small craft. Keep well clear.
- The sterns of ferries swing outwards as they negotiate bends in the river. Keep well clear.
- If sailing be aware that some ferries are large vessels and will take your wind. Plan accordingly and be prepared.
A good look out, a safe speed, and good seamanship are the keys to safe operations in Lymington Harbour.