|Mariners are advised that many large vessels (20m or more in length) and in particular RoRo ferries operating within the approaches to Lochboisdale Ferry Terminal are ‘vessels constrained by their draught’ or ‘vessels which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway’.
The approach between Calvay Island, the abort position for the inbound RoRo ferry, and Lochboisdale Ferry Terminal should be considered to be a Narrow Channel within the meaning of Rule 9 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS).
It is recommended these vessels, when so constrained, show the signals prescribed in Rule 28 of the COLREGS, i.e. three all-round red lights in a vertical line, or a cylinder, in order to be afforded the privileges of Rules 8(f) (i) and (ii) (Actions to avoid collision), 9 (Narrow channels) and/or 18(d) (i) (Responsibilities between vessels when one is constrained by draught).
It is further recommended large vessels leaving Lochboisdale should be permitted right of way over all vessels entering the approaches.
If the Masters or Skippers of vessels under 20m in length, sailing vessels or crossing vessels are in any doubt as to whether a particular vessel is indeed a ‘vessel which can safely navigate only within a narrow channel or fairway’ or a ‘vessel constrained by its draught’ then they should always give it the benefit of the doubt and treat it as such.
Further information can be obtained using the contact details below.