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Annual Notices to Mariners In Force 1/1/2021
COVID . The effects of COVID 19 are likely to be felt throughout 2021. Whilst the vaccine program has commenced it will take time to have a positive effect on reducing case numbers and mortality rates. Owners, Charterers, Masters, Skippers and Crew members should continue to take precautions to reduce the risk of transmission.
NOTE: Boston Barrier & flood protection works will continue throughout 2021. Marine construction, surveying and dredging vessels will be present. See Notices No.22 and 23 for further details. Local Notice to Mariners will be issued as and when required.
No1: Collision Regulations
All Mariners are reminded that they should at all times comply with the rules contained within the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (1972) unless specifically superseded by a Special Direction* issued by the Harbour Master, his Assistant or Deputy. Owners and operators of any vessel that is covered by the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (1972) are reminded that contravention of these Regulations is a serious matter. Recent occurrences suggest that in some cases the person in charge of navigation is unaware of these Regulations particularly those relating to vessels constrained in narrow channels. It is pointed out that ignorance of the law is no defence and prosecution under both the Boston Harbour Act and the Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (1972) will follow contravention.
*Under Section 52 of the Harbours Docks and Piers Clauses Act 1847, The Harbour Master, Assistants or his Deputy may give Special Directions to any vessel. These may be made verbally or in writing depending upon the circumstances of the case.
No 2: Contact Details
Mariners navigating the River Witham seawards of Grand Sluice and extending to the outer limits of the Port of Boston Jurisdiction Area are to monitor VHF Channel 12. The Port Control Office at Boston, callsign ‘Boston Port Control’ can provide commercial traffic forecasts. Port Control Office contact numbers are 01205 362328 or 07966 244341, email email@example.com The office is not manned 24 hours a day but only at tide times when commercial shipping movements are planned to occur. Details outside these hours may be obtained from the 24 hour Port of Boston telephone number, 01205 365571.
No 3: Pre Arrival Documentation and Defects Advice
Vessels should, wherever possible, provide 24 hours notice of arrival to their ships agents with a copy sent to firstname.lastname@example.org . From April 2017, to comply with the Consolidated European Reporting System (CERS) , Pre arrival and Waste information should be provided in excel format to. Any ship defects should be advised to Port Control prior to arrival either directly or via the ships agents.
No 4: Insurance
All owners of vessels operating in the tidal waters should have adequate insurance and be fully aware of the consequences of not holding such insurance particularly in the event of damage to third party assets, Harbour Authority costs or environmental clean-up costs.
No 5: Anchoring
The Port of Boston designated anchorage area is situated in the seaward approaches to the Freeman Channel. It is clearly marked on Navigation Charts 1018 and 1200. The eastern extremity of the anchorage area is marked by B1 and B2 Navigation Aids both of which are approximately 500m from the closest sub sea cable. Mariners are advised that certain sections of these offshore cables are not at the expected depth of burial and may be exposed. Care should be taken not to anchor, trawl or carry out and seabed work close to these cables.
No 6: Pilotage
Pilotage is compulsory for vessels over 30m LOA and for tug and tows with a combined length of over 30m. Pilot should be ordered through ships agents, giving 24 hours’ notice wherever possible. Pilot boarding areas are at the Eastern End of the Freeman Channel or close to Number 9 Buoy . The Harbour Master reserves the right to require any vessel even if less than 30m LOA, within the compulsory pilotage area, to carry a pilot or pilots if he considers the circumstances require on the grounds of safety of life, navigation or environment.
No 7: NAABSA Berths
The riverside commercial berths are Not Always Afloat But Safely Aground (NAABSA) Berths. This means that vessels will take the ground and sit on a soft mud bottom. The Port of Boston carries out regular surveys of the commercially used riverside berths, which include visual and hydrographic surveys. Dredging is carried out on NAABSA berths as and when considered necessary by the Harbour Authority. Vessel owners and charterers should ensure that any vessel fixed for these berths are suitable for drying out and taking the bottom. Masters of vessels should be aware of the need of extra moorings and the requirement to tend their moorings throughout the tidal cycle especially as the vessel takes the bottom. Although the Harbour Authority will not instruct Masters how to moor their vessel, we strongly recommend using 4 and 2 each end. On occasions, vessels do stick in the mud and will “pop” up as the tide rises, it is important that water tight doors and openings are kept closed and secured at all times.
No 8: Non Port of Boston Berths
Any berths upriver of the Swing Bridge and all non-commercial riverside berths downriver of the swing bridge are not checked by the Harbour Authority for suitability for small craft. Owners / skippers of such craft, including pleasure boats and fishing boats should ensure that any berth they intend to occupy is suitable for purpose. It should be noted that the Port of Boston do not own, operate or have any responsibility for any berths mentioned above or the safe berthing and mooring of vessels which choose to use those berths.
No 9: Tidal Range and Speed of Water
On Spring Tides, tidal range in the river exceeds 7 metres. Mariners should exercise prudent seamanship when planning a passage and mooring or navigating in the confines of the tidal waters. At times, fresh water is released without notice, from the Grand Sluice, South Forty Foot, Maud Foster and Hob Hole drains and other pumping stations along the length of the river. Such releases can produce water speeds in excess of 6 knots and mariners should take caution. Speed of flow within the bypass channel and the barrier channel can exceed 6 knots when significant fresh water flows are experienced.
No 10: Changes in Depths
Mariners are warned that rapid changes in depths can occur in the approach channels with buoys being moved accordingly at short notice. Latest information on buoy positions and status of lights can be obtained from the Harbour Office.
No.11: Alcohol, Drugs & Fatigue
It is a criminal offence for professional persons in charge of navigation or having safety responsibilities onboard to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or to be in contravention of the working hours directives leading to fatigue. The alcohol limit of 25 micrograms per 100 millilitres of breath or 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millimetres of blood is set at a lower level than the UK drink drive limit The Harbour Authority will inform the Police if they believe an infringement of this law has taken place. The Police will carry out breath and / or urine tests and if proved positive the vessel will be detained and appropriate action will be taken by the authorities. (Railways and Transport Safety Act 2003 applies and as amended by the Prescribed Limits Amendment Regs 2015)
No.12: Disposal of Garbage
Mariners are reminded of the requirements of the Prevention of Pollution by Sewage and Garbage from Ships)Regulations2008. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440749/MGN_385.pdf
NO WASTE to be disposed of in the river or in the Port of Boston Jurisdiction Area. Reception facilities for commercial vessels garbage are provided by the Port of Boston on receipt of relevant fee. Port of Boston Waste Management Plan may be viewed at the Harbour Office with prior arrangement of the Harbour Master. No waste should be left on the quay at any time, otherwise a charge may be made to cover removal costs. Master or Owners of commercial vessels have the right to complain to the Harbour Authority regarding any perceived inadequacies in the waste reception facilities.
No.13: Buoys, Beacons and Lights
The Port of Boston is undergoing a 4 year plan to change all of its navigation buoys from Steel to Rotationally Moulded Plastic Buoys Navigation. This will be completed during 2020. These buoys require smaller ground tackle and is therefore more important that vessels do not use these as mooring points. The attention of mariners is drawn to the Merchant Shipping Act, 1995, Section 219. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1995/21/contents It is an offence, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse to:
intentionally or recklessly damage –
- i) any lighthouse or the lights exhibited in it, or
- ii) any lightship, buoy or beacon
- To remove, cast adrift or sink any lightship, buoy or beacon; or
- To conceal or obscure any lighthouse, buoy or beacon;
- c) To make fast to, or
- To run foul of,
any lightship, buoy or beacon.
- A person who is guilty of an offence under this section shall, in addition to being liable for the expense of making good any damage so occasioned, be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding level 4 on the standard table currently £2500.
No.14: 6 Knot Speed Limit
Attention of Mariners is drawn to the speed limit within the Haven. This speed limit is not set by the Harbour Authority but by the Environment Agency. The Harbour Authority considers safe speed to be more important and relevant to shipping and may monitor the speed of vessels having regard to such safe speed. If the Harbour Authority considers that excessive speed is causing a hazard to navigation or a danger to, or embarrassing other vessels, or causing excessive wash or risk damaging the flood defences, it will take necessary action. See also Rule 6 of the Colregs.
No15: Safe Navigational Watch / Stability
Attention is drawn to Marine Guidance Note MGN 313(F) concerning Keeping a Safe Navigational Watch on Fishing Vessels. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/mgn-313-keeping-a-safe-navigational-watch-on-fishing-vessels
The skipper of all vessels should ensure adequate freeboard and stability of the vessel at all times. It is recommended that all skippers of fishing boats undergo the non statutory MCA stability course.
Several cases of interaction have been experienced in the river. (Interaction occurs mostly between vessels of different sizes). Interaction has occurred on occasions when fishing boats have attempted to pass commercial vessels usually at a time when the larger commercial vessel commences slowing down on their approach to the dock. There is a serious risk of interaction, sucking the smaller vessel into the larger vessel, turning the smaller vessel broadsides to the river and therefore causing risk of collision and capsizing. In all cases it is highly recommended that overtaking in the river is only acceptable after clear consultation and agreement between the 2 vessels.
No.17: Small Craft in Tidal Waters
Water seawards of New Cut are designated by the MCA as “at Sea”. Waters between Grand Sluice and inside the New Cut are category C waters, and waters contained within the dock basin are category B waters.
All vessels entering into Categorised Waters and “Sea” are legally obliged to follow the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collision at Sea.
Owners, Operators, Yacht Clubs, Marina Operators and persons in charge of pleasure and other small craft are warned that tidal waters seaward of Grand Sluice Lock can be hazardous.
Persons in charge of inland waterway vessels, or other vessels not normally used in tidal rivers, should be aware of the dangers of entering tidal waters. Any person in charge of a vessel should confirm they have adequate insurance whilst in tidal waters*. Occurrences and near misses have occurred in Port of Boston Jurisdiction Waters due to the inability of one vessel to make contact with another. It is a local requirement of the Port of Boston, that all vessels navigating within the Ports waters have adequate means of communications which will normally mean carrying a Marine Band VHF Radio capable of receiving and transmitting on VHF channel 12.
*Mariners should ensure that their insurance policy covers them for navigation at Sea or in Categorised Waters otherwise their policies could be null and void.
No.18: Hazards, Trawling
Attention is drawn to Marine Guidance Note MGN 415(F) – Fishing Vessels: The Hazards Associated with Trawling, Including Beam Trawling and Scallop Dredging. https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/440969/MGN_415.pdf
Skippers of fishing vessels engaged in trawling should make themselves aware of any known submerged hazards, including the likelihood of the presence of Crab / Lobster Pots, wrecks and submarine cables
Notice is drawn to the notation on charts BA 108 and 1200 regarding the presence of unmarked pots and cables.
No 19: Sub Sea Electricity Cables in the Wash
Two Power cables run from each of Race Bank and Lincs Windfarms through the centre of The Wash and make landfall close to the entrance of the River Nene. In certain areas, the burial depths of these cables have not reached the expected burial depths or recent hydrographic surveys indicate that seabed mobility has reduced the coverage. Mariners should be cautious and prudent when navigating, anchoring, trawling or working in the vicinity of the cables route.
No 20: Hazards in the river, Trawling
Any item that is considered by the Harbour Authority to be a hazard to navigation may be removed and disposed of, or made safe to the best of the Harbour Authority’s ability. Costs incurred will be chargeable to the owner of the hazard. When possible, the Harbour Authority will give notice to the owner of removal.
No.21: Works in Jurisdiction Area
DIVING, SURVEYING, RIVER / HARBOUR WORKS OR ANY OTHER OPERATIONS THAT MAY AFFECT NAVIGATION:
Prior to commencement within the Port of Boston Jurisdiction Area of any operation mentioned above, permission must be sought, and clearance granted from the Harbour Master. The form “Application for Marine Works”, available from the Harbour Office should be completed. Adequate Risk Assessments and Method Statements will be required. The Harbour Authority will make charges to cover Officers time in the administration of these activities in line with the current Port Tariff
No.22: Barrier & Flood Protection Works
Works will be continuing throughout 2021 on the above project. Key dates are given below. Dredging will continue in the swinging hole in the new year, this is creating a turning basin that will allow ships to turn in the river whilst the dock is temporarily closed. During the dock closure all commercial vessels will be berthed on the riverside quays. Turning of vessels has been simulated and a turning dolphin, situated some 25m downriver of the existing knuckle is needed to allow this to manoeuvre to be carried out safely. This turning dolphin will be constructed prior to the dock closure and will be removed at the end of the project. Every vessel will need to turn on this dolphin and for a short period of time during the manoeuvre, vessels will be across the river, this will limit or stop transit of other vessels. The Harbour Authority will endeavour to keep this time to a minimum, but some inconvenience is inevitable.
• APRIL 2021 ‐ INSTALLATION OF TURNING DOLPHIN
• MAY 2021 ‐ COMPLETE SWINGING HOLE
• JUNE 2021 ‐ HANDOVER RIVER QUAYS FOR USE
• JULY 2021 ‐ START WET DOCK ENTRANCE WORKS
• SUMMER 2022 ‐ COMPLETE WET DOCK WORKS
No.23: Operational Bow Thrusters
During the period of time that the dock is temporarily closed and all commercial vessels have to swing in the river, Owners, Charterers & Masters will need to confirm to the Harbour Authority via their ships agents that their vessels are fitted with operational Bow Thrusters before they are accepted as being suitable. The Harbour Master, his assistants or deputies decision on the suitability of vessels is final.
The Port of Boston complies with the Port Marine Safety Code. As part of the plan, there is a requirement for a documented 3 year plan that is relevant to the Ports Operations. The 3 year plan is contained within the Port Marine Safety Code and along with local notices to mariners, links to tidal and met data and recent hydrographic surveys can be viewed on the Ports website www.portofboston.co.uk
If any user of the river, dock and waters covered by the jurisdiction of the Harbour Authority wishes to raise any matter relating to safety of navigation, they should write or otherwise contact The Harbour Master or his deputy at the address below.
Vessel owners (including owners of fishing vessels), Agents, Charterers, Yacht Clubs, Marina Operators and Lock Keepers should ensure that the contents of these Notices are made known to the masters and skippers or persons in charge of vessels using the waters within the Port of Boston jurisdiction area.
The Canals and River Trust and the Environment Agency should ensure the notices are made available to the masters, skippers or persons in charge of craft transiting from the fresh water to the salt water at Grand Sluice and / or Black Sluice.
The Harbour Authority will issue Local Notice to Mariners and Special Directions as and when required, these will be uploaded to the Ports website.
PORT OF BOSTON,
Lincs, PE21 6BN
Tel 01205 365571
Mob 07712 133430