Three channels are without speed restrictions this winter


limits have been abolished in certain areas of Poole Harbour from now until

next Spring.

Mariners are

advised that speed restrictions have been relaxed within the Wareham Channel,

Middle Ship Channel and North Channel during the period of 1 October to 31


Harbour Master

Brian Murphy warned that the Poole Harbour byelaw 2(a) still applies.

This states that ‘every vessel shall be navigated with care and caution and at such

speed and in such a manner as not to endanger the lives of or cause injury or

be a nuisance to persons or endanger the safety of or cause damage to other

vessels, moorings, buoys, beacons or other property.’

Captain Murphy added:

‘Speeding and excessive wash offences are taken very seriously and may result

in prosecution.’

The speed limits

still apply throughout the rest of the harbour, especially six knots in Little

Channel and Holes Bay and 10 knots in the harbour entrance area between Bell

Buoy and 1,400 metres from South Haven Point.

A spokesman for

Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) said: ‘The abolishment of speed limits in

certain parts of the harbour is something that happens every winter through to


New protocol also announced

PHC have also

announced a new protocol that aims to improve the initial response to

recreational emergencies within the harbour.

The PHC, Maritime and Coastguard

Agency, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, The Royal Yachting Association

and local yacht clubs will monitor the same

communications channel to better co-ordinate their responses, particularly

during organised events where safety boats are being used.


organisers wishing to hold an event within Poole Harbour should contact the

harbour master to discuss the event, risk assessment and the voluntary



assessments for consultation should be submitted to

Pictures: An aerial view of Poole Harbour. Credit: Sue Sieger.

A Poole Harbour Commissioners map, the red area shows where the speed limit does not apply until 31 March 2013.