Harbour Directions - Consultation
St Mawes Pier and Harbour Company, as a Statutory Harbour Authority, wish to modernise by seeking to be designated with powers of Harbour Direction. Current byelaws, whilst relevant, are inadequate for the traffic using the port.
What are they?
The Harbours Act 1964, as amended by the Marine Navigation Act 2013, provides a mechanism by which the Secretary of State may by Order designate harbour authorities with a power to make harbour directions to better regulate shipping and improve safety within their harbour area. Such harbour authorities are called “designated harbour authorities”.
What are they used for?
Harbour directions may be used by a designated harbour authority to regulate ships within their harbour, or entering or leaving their harbour. They may relate to the movement, mooring and unmooring, equipment and manning of ships. For example directions could be used:
a. to regulate the use of any main navigation channel or fairway;
b. to prescribe where and how vessels are to moor and move within the harbour;
c. to ensure ships above a certain size have working radios to allow communication between harbour master and ship;
d. to specify requirements for no deficiency in machinery; and,
e. to ensure sufficient people with relevant experience crew specific types of ship.
Who will they apply to?
Harbour directions will only apply to ships as defined in the Harbours Act 1964. This Act defines a ship as including every description of vessel used in navigation, seaplanes and hovercraft. The Court of Appeal has held that to be used in navigation, a vessel must be used to make ordered progression from one place to another.
The grant of powers depends on the Commissioners giving assurance that they will maintain
a) A Port User Group and to apply a dispute resolution procedure such as is set out in the code of contact when required; and
b) To have regard to supplementary guidance issued from time to time by the National Directions Panel on the subject of harbour directions.
The St Mawes Harbour Users Group is the adopted Port User Group and the St Mawes Pier and Harbour Company resolved to offer the required assurance at its board meeting on TBA.
This consultation seeks views, comments and/or observations on the matter, which should be forwarded to Gary Cairns by 10th March 2016.
This consultation is only relevant to the taking of powers. The actual Directions will the subject of a further consultation once the Powers are granted.