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8 Mar 17 -  Southsea Castle Light Retired as New Portsmouth Approach Channel Opened

A new Admiralty Chart has been published to show the changes made to the approaches into Portsmouth in preparation for the arrival of the Royal Navy’s new Aircraft Carriers.

Issued by the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office (UKHO) on 2 March 2017, it reflects the characteristics, positions and directional light orientations as well as navigation marks, port entry lights and marker buoys that are now in place. 

The Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth, Steve Hopper said, The most significant changes include a widening of the approach channel and a change to its route.  The new ‘Castle Pile’ which has been placed between Southsea Castle and the War Memorial, now lead ships in to the approach channel.  Southsea Castle light, which has been used by ships for this purpose since being commissioned by the Admiralty in 1828, is no longer an operational lighthouse but very much remains a landmark in the Solent.

The Admiralty Chart number 2625 shows the latest surveyed depths in and around the Approach Channel, as well as the positions, names, and characteristics for the Channel’s lateral marks, the positions of new port entry lights and re-orientation of the Fort Blockhouse directional light.  It also includes amends to the notes and the new position of the Small Boat Channel.  The majority of lateral marks have retained their names and have relatively corresponding positions within the new channel as to the old one.  However, Ridge buoy has been moved to between Outer Spit Buoy and Spit Refuge Buoy, and been renamed Spit Elbow.

The new charts are available for purchase now, while some electronic charts are yet to be updated.  Details of the new positions and characteristics of all the affected navigation mark and light changes, are published in QHM Portsmouth's NAVWARN 26/17.

17 Jan 17 - Two Jet Skiers prosecuted for breaches of Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order

Two Jet Skiers appeared in Portsmouth Magistrates Court on 17 January, where they pleaded guilty to a  breach of the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order (2005) and were ordered to pay fines and costs amounting to £365 each. 

On 18 Nov 16, the pair set off on their Personal Water Craft, commonly known as jet skis, from the Daedalus slipway at Lee-on-Solent for a trip to Portsmouth Harbour.  Once there, they entered the harbour in the middle of the main channel ordinarily reserved for large shipping, obstructing the departure of a Wightlink Ferry, and then proceeded to operate at high speed and conduct erratic manoeuvres in the harbour before being intercepted by a Ministry of Defence Police launch. One of the riders confirmed that he was in possession of a licence to operate his Personal Water Craft within the harbour, while the other told police that he had only purchased his craft the day before and had not had time to obtain a licence.

The Dockyard Port of Portsmouth Order covers the rules and regulations governing activity on the waters of Portsmouth Harbour and the eastern Solent and includes measures that are in place to keep all port users safe, including a 10 knot speed inside the harbour and within half a mile of the shore throughout the rest of the waters.  Personal water craft have areas allocated to them at Lee-on-Solent and Eastney where they are permitted to operate at higher speeds closer to the shore, but they do need to have a licence from Queen’s Harbour Master and be operated with care and caution. 

The Ministry of Defence Police provide armed patrols on the water, primarily for the security of Her Majesty’s Naval Base Portsmouth.  They will be a key part of providing security to the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, from later this year.

The Deputy Queen's Harbour Master, Gideon Sherwood, said in a statement, “Portsmouth Harbour is one of the busiest Harbour ports in the United Kingdom. Portsmouth Naval Base is home to the Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyers, much of the Type 23 Frigate Fleet and from later this year, HMS Queen Elizabeth, the first of the new Aircraft Carriers.  It is our priority to ensure the safety and security of all Port users and I welcome this clear message to those who choose to ignore or flaunt the rules. For the vast majority who are eager to get it right and people new to the area who wish to get on the water, there is plenty of information on our website and we are happy to advise anyone who can’t find what they need.”

Latest Notices

NAVWARN 26/17 NEW PORTSMOUTH APPROACH CHANNEL CHANGES – FINAL UPDATE
NAVWARN 25/17 SOUTHSEA CASTLE DIRECTIONAL AND ISOPHASE LIGHTS PERMANENTLY EXTINGUISHED
NAVWARN 21/17 SOUTH PARADE PIER LIGHTS
LNTM 23/17 PORTSMOUTH SMALL BOAT CHANNEL RE-ORIENTATED
LNTM 22/17 PRINCESS ROYAL JETTY OPENED
LNTM 21/17 WAVE RIDER BUOY DEPLOYMENT - NAB SPOIL GROUND
LNTM 20/17 MAINTENANCE DREDGING – PORT SOLENT APPROACHES AND GOSPORT MARINA
LNTM 19/17 NEW WIDENED AND RE-ORIENTATED PORTSMOUTH APPROACH CHANNEL