Notice is hereby given of the Wightlink ferry arrival and departure procedures and the recommended actions for other craft.
If there are other craft navigating in the vicinity, prior to leaving any berth the ferry will sound a single short blast to provide advance notification that the ferry is preparing to depart.**
** In order to minimise the impacts of noise pollution a sound signal will only be made between 08.00 and 20.00 hours when there are other boats approaching the main operational berth within the area bounded by the ‘Harbour Masters’ pontoon to the south and the ferry terminal slipway to the north. The chart below depicts the area (between red lines) within which if other vessels are navigating the ferry will make a pre-departure sound signal between 08.00 and 20.00 hours.
On hearing the sound signal mariners who are close to or already committed to pass the ferry berth should continue to do so while keeping to the starboard side of the channel for their direction of travel. Mariners who are approaching the ferry berth but are still some distance away are asked to slow or hold station where practical to do so to allow the ferry navigation space to depart. For the avoidance of doubt, a ferry about to leave the berth must give way to craft underway in the navigation channel.
Mariners should not follow closely behind or overtake the ferry as she is making her final approaches/manoeuvres into the berth as the navigation channel is at its narrowest in this area. Such actions can impede outbound craft or may result in the overtaking vessel being affected by ferry thruster wash being deployed to facilitate final manoeuvres onto the berth or maintaining station until securely moored alongside. In these circumstances, please remain a sensible distance (at least a ferry length) behind the ferry until she is settled and secure in the berth. Outbound craft should also wait until the ferry is settled and secure in the berth before passing.
Also, each day ferries will depart from one of the terminal ‘layby’ berths and move downstream to enter the main operational linkspan berth. In doing so the ferry will navigate past the main berth infrastructure before manoeuvring astern and to port to enter the main berth. Ferries will also depart the main linkspan berth to return to a ‘layby’ berth upstream. In doing so immediately after departure the ferry will manoeuvre astern and to starboard before navigating upstream.
In both circumstances just prior to going astern, in line with Rule 34 (a) of The Merchant Shipping (Distress Signals and Prevention of Collisions) Regulations 1996, the ferry will sound three short blasts to signify the imminent intention to apply astern propulsion.
On seeing a ferry manoeuvring in the vicinity of the main linkspan berth, Mariners should remain a safe distance away in anticipation of the astern manoeuvre. Given the narrowness of the navigation channel in this area, Mariners should not attempt to pass until the ferry is either secure in the main berth or clear of the area.
This Notice updates LNTM No. 9/2011 & No. 5/2014 which are withdrawn with immediate effect.
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