Hornet News

Traffic Control and VHFCommunications in the Solent

Queen's Harbour Master Portsmouth - LNTM No 86/21


LNTM No 86/21

1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN jointly by the Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth and by the Harbour Masters of Portsmouth International Port and ABP Southampton, that Vessel Traffic Services covering The Solent and Southampton Water including the ports of Portsmouth and Southampton, is established to monitor and co-ordinate shipping movements. This LNTM is published in agreement with the Harbour Master of Southampton to ensure the continuity of communications and co-ordination of shipping movements between the two Harbour authorities involved.

2. Harbour Authorities – Under the terms of the Dockyard Ports Regulation Act 1865 and the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order 2005 (DPPO), the recognised harbour authority with responsibility for governing the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth is the Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth (QHM) who has jurisdiction within the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth as shown on Admiralty Charts and defined in the DPPO. The Harbour Master of Portsmouth International Port is the recognised Competent Harbour Authority with responsibilities under the Pilotage Act 1987, as set out in LNTM 5/21. The Co-ordination of shipping movements within the Solent and approaches is carried out by Southampton Vessel Traffic Service (Callsign “Southampton VTS”) at the Port of Southampton. QHM Vessel Traffic Service (Callsign “QHM”) controls the traffic entering/leaving Portsmouth Harbour north of a line between Fort Gilkicker and Horse Sand Fort, although navigational direction will need to be established before entering this area.

3. Southampton VTS - To coordinate shipping within the Solent and Nab, Southampton VTS maintains radar surveillance of the Eastern Solent. VHF communications are maintained on VHF Ch12 in accordance with current Notices to Mariners issued by the Harbour Master, Southampton.

4. QHM Portsmouth - QHM Vessel Traffic Service maintains radar coverage of the Eastern Solent including the Portsmouth Harbour Approaches. A continuous listening watch is maintained on VHF Ch 11 (the primary channel for the coordination of shipping movements entering and leaving Portsmouth) and VHF Ch 13 (primarily used to control Naval movements within the Naval Base).

5. Mandatory procedures - The following procedures are mandatory:

a. For all vessels over 20m in length:

i. All vessels entering or leaving the Eastern Solent are to report to Southampton VTS on VHF Ch 12 at the following points:

A. When on an arc of 10 NM from the Nab Tower;

B. When passing latitude 50 40.0N giving their position as a distance east or west of the Nab Tower.

ii. Within the Solent and remaining south of a line between Fort Gilkicker and Horse Sand Fort, vessels should maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Ch 12. They are to report to Southampton VTS when passing the appropriate reporting points and at other times, as designated in the Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6(1).

iii. Vessels proceeding to an anchorage in the Solent for shelter or subsequent berthing must report to Southampton VTS when anchored giving their approximate position. While at anchor vessels must maintain a listening watch on VHF Ch 12. Vessels leaving their anchorage must also report to Southampton VTS and advise of their intended destination or whether they are leaving via the Eastern or Western Solent.

b. For all vessels:

i. All Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) and all vessels over 270 metres in length navigating inbound to the Port of Southampton are to call QHM Portsmouth on VH Ch 11 when passing the Nab Tower, and when outbound are to call QHM when clear of the Prince Consort Buoy. This call is to advise QHM of the transit and to ascertain early information of planned movements into and out of Portsmouth Harbour.

ii. All Gas tankers before navigating within the area between the Warner and North Sturbridge buoys are to establish communications with QHM Portsmouth on VHF Ch 11 to advise of their transit and to ascertain movements into and out of Portsmouth Harbour.

iii. Any vessel which has sustained damage or a defect outside the limits of the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth and the Port of Southampton which affects or is likely to affect the seaworthiness, reliability or manoeuvrability of that vessel, is to inform the Harbour Master of the respective port before entering the port limits. If oil or dangerous or inflammable substances are escaping or are likely to escape from that vessel, permission to enter the port limits must also be requested.

6. Vessels entering Portsmouth Harbour - QHM coordinates all shipping movements within Portsmouth Harbour and its approaches to the north of a line joining Fort Gilkicker and Horse Sand Fort. In addition to making reports to Southampton VTS, vessels intending to enter Portsmouth Harbour approaching f