1 69/14

It has been reported there was a recent incident where vessels departing Loch Boisdale, South Uist via the channel to the north of Gasay Island did not allow sufficient sea-room to avoid a close-quarters situation with the inbound passage of the scheduled RoRo ferry which was on approach to Lochboisdale Ferry Terminal.

Mariners are advised that many merchant vessels and 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).

These vessels, when so constrained, are all requested to 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).

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.

Should any mariners experience such situations at this location it is requested the circumstances are reported to CalMac Ferries Ltd port operations staff who will thereafter forward the information for the attention of the CMAL Harbour Master.

Please click here to download a printable PDF of NTM 69/14(445Kb)

Further information can be obtained using the contact details

David McHardie
Harbour Master
Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Categories: Piers and harbours, Uncategorized @gd
Tags: Lochboisdale Ferry Terminal, South Uist