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Local notices to mariners

Local notices to mariners

See our local notices to mariners to find out about how events in the harbour may affect you.

The notices have two digits each for the number of the notice and the year it was issued, for example Notice No 41/10 means notice 41 of the year 2010.

You should check these events as they're in force for the safety of all harbour users and will help you make the most of your visit to Bristol Harbour.

Events in Bristol Harbour

11/21 works to install a water heat source pump at Castle Moat, Castle Park, starting 22 September 2021

We’re starting construction works to abstract water from the floating harbour for the operation of a water source heat pump at the Castle Park Depot site to fuel Bristol City Council's Heat Network. 

This will include construction of a harbour pontoon/platform required to house the pumps and filters associated with the abstraction and discharge of water from the Floating Harbour.

The construction area will be marked by buoys, and work boats will be operating in the vicinity.

Mariners are requested to:

  • proceed at a slow speed
  • navigate with caution in the area

10/21 Stand up paddleboarding event: 23 September 2021, 3pm to 7:30pm

A stand up paddleboard event will be taking place at Baltic Wharf on Thursday 23 September 2021, 3pm to 7:30pm.

A buoyed course will be laid and mariners are requested to:

  • proceed at a slow speed 
  • navigate with caution in the area 
  • take directions, contactable on VHF Channel 73, from the safety/marshalling boat providing navigation control for the event

09/21 Outer lock gates at Cumberland Basin now operational 

The Entrance Lock at Cumberland Basin is now operational.

We can now facilitate arrival or departure seaward. 

04/21 Harbour Office COVID-19 update 1 March 2021

Following the Government’s announcement of A Road Map Out of Lock Down, Harbour use will be subject to the following restrictions.

As the Country moves out of lockdown there remains some uncertainty about the impact of easing restrictions. Consequently, the dates for each step may be subject to delay.

Step 1 (a): 8 March to 29 March

The Harbour is closed to all visiting craft.

Travel outside of your local area is not permitted, and therefore we are unable to facilitate visits to the Harbour.  Vessels entering the Harbour to access maintenance and repair facilities may do so only at the discretion of the Harbour Master.

Leisure use of Powered Vessels

Leisure use of powered vessels is not listed by the Government as a reasonable reason for leaving home and therefore not permitted.

Owners of powered craft must not leave their moorings unless it is to access necessary maintenance and then only after permission has been sought from and given by the Harbour Authority.

Manually Propelled Craft

In line with Government regulations on exercise owners of manually propelled craft that hold Annual Navigation Licenses may continue to use the Harbour.   Such use must adhere to Government restrictions below. 

You can exercise in a public outdoor place:

  • by yourself
  • with the people you live with
  • with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
  • in a childcare bubble
  • or, when on your own, with one person from another household

Licensed, manually propelled club activity may continue with adherence to above and compliance with relevant association guidelines.

No new licenses will be issued. If a Navigation License is not already held for a vessel, use of the Harbour is prohibited

Commercial Activity

Apart from the maintenance and repair of vessels, no commercial activity may take place on the Harbour.

Locking Services 

Locking Services will only be provided to facilitate permitted commercial activity and will be at the discretion of the Harbour Master.

Harbour Staff

Harbour Staff will be on duty daily from 9am until 5pm to carry out dock patrols and permitted locking and tidal duties.  

They will respond to emergencies and will carry a limited supply of pump out tokens, electricity cards and other sundries for purchase by card only.   The emergency telephone service, 0117 903 1484, will still be available during operational hours (using option 2) on the answering service. 

Harbour Office

The Harbour Office is closed to the public. Should you wish to contact the office by telephone, call 0117 903 1484 between 10am to 3pm or email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Step 1 (b): 29 March  

The Harbour will remain closed to visiting craft.

Overnight stays are still prohibited, and therefore we are unable to facilitate such visits to the Harbour.  Vessels entering the Harbour to access maintenance and repair facilities may do so only at the discretion of the Harbour Master.

Powered and Manually Propelled Vessels

Holders of Annual licenses for powered and manually propelled vessels may use their vessels within the limitations set out by the Government during this period.

Licensed, club activity may continue with adherence to limitations set out by the Government during this period and compliance with relevant association guidelines.

No new licenses will be issued. If a Navigation License is not already held for a vessel, use of the Harbour is prohibited.

Commercial Activity

Recognised Training Centers, Ferries, Hire Boats, and Leisure Activity Suppliers may operate in the Harbour with adherence to limitations set out by the Government during this period.

Locking Services

Locking Services at Cumberland Basin and Netham Lock will be available to facilitate trips onto River Avon for Commercial and Leisure Users. Overnight stays away from home are still prohibited. Requests for Locking Services to facilitate an overnight stay away from home will be declined.

See relevant Notices to Mariners for details on booking 

Harbour Staff

Harbour Staff will be on duty daily from 8am until 8pm to carry out dock patrols and permitted locking and tidal duties.

They will respond to emergencies and will carry a limited supply of pump out tokens, electricity cards and other sundries for purchase by card only.  

The emergency telephone service, 0117 903 1484 will still be available during operational hours, using option 2 on the answering service. 

Harbour Office

The Harbour Office is closed to the public. Should you wish to contact the office by telephone, please call 0117 903 1484 between 10am until 3pm or email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Step 2: No earlier than 12 April

The Harbour will open to visiting craft.

Bookings for Locking Services to facilitate overnight visits will be taken.

Licensing

Temporary Navigation and Mooring licenses and New User Annual Navigation licenses will be issued.

Powered and Manually Propelled Vessels

Holders of licenses for powered and manually propelled craft may use their vessels within the limitations set out by the Government during this period.

Licensed, club activity may continue with adherence to limitations set out by the Government during this period and compliance with relevant association guidelines.

Commercial Activity

Recognised Training Centers, Ferries Hire Boats, and Leisure Activity Suppliers may operate in the Harbour with adherence to limitations set out by the Government during this period.

Locking Services

Locking Services at Cumberland Basin and Netham Lock will be available to facilitate trips onto River Avon for Commercial and Leisure Users. Requests for Locking Services to facilitate an overnight stay away from Home will be accepted.

See relevant Notices to Mariners for details on booking 

Harbour Staff

Harbour Staff will be on duty daily from 8am until 8pm to carry out dock patrols and locking and tidal duties. 

The emergency telephone service, 0117 903 1484, will still be available during operational hours (using option 2) on the answering service. 

Harbour Office

Front of House Services will be available from the Harbour Office between 8:30am and 4:30pm. You must follow restrictions on entry posted at entrances.

Should you wish to contact the office by telephone, please call 0117 903 1484 between 8:30am until 4:30pm  or email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Step 3: No earlier than 17 may

The Harbour is open to visiting craft.

Bookings for Locking Services to facilitate overnight visits will be taken.

Licensing

Temporary Navigation and Mooring licenses and New Annual Navigation licenses will be 
issued.

Powered and Manually Propelled Vessels

Holders of licenses for powered and manually propelled craft may use their vessels within the limitations set out by the Government during this period.

Licensed, club activity may continue with adherence to limitations set out by the Government during this period and compliance with relevant association guidelines.

Commercial Activity

Recognised Training Centers, Ferries, Hire Boats, and Leisure Activity Suppliers may operate in the Harbour with adherence to limitations set out by the Government during this period.

Locking Services

Locking Services at Cumberland Basin and Netham Lock will be available to facilitate trips onto River Avon for Commercial and Leisure Users.

Requests for Locking Services to facilitate an overnight stay away from home will be accepted.  

See relevant Notices to Mariners for details on booking 

Harbour Staff

Harbour Staff will be on duty daily from 7:30am until 10pm to carry out dock patrols and locking and tidal duties.

The emergency telephone service, 0117 9031484, will still be available during operational hours (using option 2) on the answering service.

Harbour Office

Front of House Services will be available from the Harbour Office between 8:30am and 4:30pm. You must follow restrictions on entry posted at entrances.

To to contact the office by telephone, call 0117 903 1484 between  8:30am until 4:30pm  or email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Step 4: No earlier than 21 June

All COVID restrictions lifted.

01/21 Scouring operations in the Cumberland Basin 2021

Scouring operations in Cumberland Basin will take place at the following times.

January 2021

  • 14 January: 1.15pm    
  • 29 January: 1.30pm    

February 2021

  • 12 February: 1pm    
  • 26 February: 12.15pm

March 2021

  • 12 March: 12.30pm    
  • 26 March: 11.30am    

April 2021

  • 9 April: 12.15pm
  • 26 April: 12.45pm    

May 2021

  • 11 May: 1.30pm
  • 26 May: 1.30pm

June 2021

  • 9 June: 1pm
  • 24 June: 1pm

July 2021

  • 9 July: 1.15pm
  • 23 July: 12.45pm

August 2021

  • 6 August: 12.15pm
  • 20 August: 11.30am

September 2021

  • 6 September: 1.15pm
  • 20 September: 1.15pm

October 2021

  • 16 September: 1:30pm
  • 19 September: 1pm

November 2021

  • 5 November: 12.45pm
  • 19 November: 12.30pm

December 2021

  • 3 December: 11.30am
  • 20 December: 1.20pm

During these operations note:

  • Prior to the scour it may be necessary to increase the level of the harbour by +0.20 metres or +0.25 metres.
  • The water level in the floating harbour, Feeder Canal and River Avon upstream of Netham Lock may be reduced by as much as 0.5 metres during the period of approximately 5 hours from commencement of each scour.
  • Strong currents will be experienced in narrow bridge ways and especially Prince Street Bridge, Totterdown Junction, in the Feeder Canal at Netham Lock.
  • Vessels proceeding upstream against the current must give way to vessels coming downstream at all bridge ways, Totterdown Junction and at Netham Lock.
  • All vessels when approaching Prince Street Bridge, Redcliffe Bridge, Totterdown Junction or Netham Lock must sound one prolonged blast of their whistle from either direction.

21/20 Water sport activity sessions

Baltic Wharf Sailing Club, racing on Saturdays, 11am to 1pm, June to September and also 1pm to 4pm, February to December

Baltic Wharf Sailing Club Training session, first Saturday of each month, 11am to 1pm

Baltic Wharf Sailing Club Sailing event, Wednesdays, 11am to 1pm

Baltic Wharf Cadet and Social Sailing, Wednesdays, 5.30pm to 7.30pm, May to September at Baltic Wharf.

All Aboard Youth Sailing, weekdays and evenings April to October. At Baltic Wharf.

All Aboard, Sailing/powerboat tuition throughout the year. At Baltic Wharf.

Bristol Canoe Club, Tuesday and Thursday evenings throughout the year. At Baltic Wharf to Netham.

Bristol Rowing Club, throughout the year. Albion Dock to Netham and River Avon.

Ariel Rowing Club, throughout the year. Netham to Hanham.

Guides Association, evenings and weekends. Redcliffe Wharf.

Scouts Association, evenings and weekends. Baltic Wharf.

TS Adventure Sea Cadets, evenings and weekends. Baltic Wharf to Narrow Quay.

Young Bristol, water sports throughout the year. Pooles Wharf.

Bristol Gig Club, gig rowing throughout the year. Bristol Marina to Netham.

26/19 Cumberland Basin: new BST locking times

Cumberland Basin Locking procedures will be changing from 1 July 2019 until further notice.

During British Summer Time, services will no longer be routinely provided between 10pm and 6am (unless during Spring Tides or other operations).

This is so harbour staff can be more effectively deployed. You must give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice if locking operations are needed between these hours, so we can ensure docking staff and bridge operators are available.

Notice to Mariners 27/17 (Notice required for Plimsoll Bridge Swing) is unchanged: 48 hours’ notice is needed for vessels that need Plimsoll Bridge swings, day or night. To arrange these services:

  • Call the Docking Deputy Harbour Master: 0117 9273633
  • Email: docks.office@bristol.gov.uk
  • Call the Bristol Harbour office: 0117 9031484
  • Call emergency control: 0117 9222050

27/17 Plimsoll Bridge Swing

With immediate effect from 31 March 2017 a 48 hours’ notice is required for a Plimsoll Bridge swing.

This will affect all vessels of a height above float level of 5.8m entering or leaving Bristol City Docks.

The Deputy Harbour Master can be contacted on 0117 927 3633 and between tidal watches a message can be left on the answering machine.

This restriction will remain in force until further notice.

30/14 Short term licences: Netham Lock

The duty lock keeper at Netham will not be able to accept any cash payment for short term licences. The only method of payments will be by debit cards, credit cards or cheques.

31/11 Safety boat cover for water events

Any Water Events held in Bristol Harbour will need to have adequate safety cover provided and must have permission from the Harbour Master prior to the event happening.

Contact information

Harbour Office

Underfall Yard

Cumberland Road

Bristol, BS1 6XG

Opening Hours

Opening Hours

Open for general enquiries, licensing and the purchasing of commodities daily (except Christmas Day) as follows:

Summer (BST)

Harbour Office: Monday to Sunday 08.30am to 4.30pm

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 07.30am and 10.00pm

Winter (GMT)

Harbour Office: Monday to Sunday 10am to 3pm

Emergency Service: Duty Officers are on call between 9am and 5pm

VHF Radio

Channel 73, call sign BRISTOL FLOATING HARBOUR.

Email: harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Tel: 0117 903 1484

Fax: 0117 903 1487