During the summer months, ferries and harbours become busier, increasing potential risk around personal safety.  Some harbours are very busy with vehicle traffic and while the water may look inviting, the water can be shockingly cold, even on a hot day.  In addition, it’s impossible to tell how deep it is, unexpectedly strong currents can sweep people away and the surface can hide objects below the surface that could cause serious harm.

Here, we share our advice and guidance for using our ports and harbours safely so that everyone can enjoy travelling around Scotland’s islands.



  • Listen to advice given by harbour staff
  • Remain aware of your surroundings
  • Keep away from operational areas
  • Keep animals on a lead
  • Supervise young children
  • Report dangerous or anti-social behaviour
  • Keep within designated walkways and traffic lanes



  • Unprotected quay edges
  • Deep and cold water
  • Moving vehicles and moving vessels
  • Mooring lines and wires
  • Busy marshalling areas



  • Jump or swim around the harbour or pier
  • Fish near or around operational areas
  • Berth in unauthorised places