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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

See the local notices to mariners below for events and changes in Bristol Harbour.

39/20 Harbour phase 3 reopening: 6 July 2020

Fom Monday 6 July 2020, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin Phase 3 of reopening the Harbour for leisure use. 

The Harbour Office will remain open 10am to 3pm for navigation licenses. Should you need to contact the office email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers. We would appreciate that visitors follow all signs and instructions.  

Phase 2:  All manually propelled craft (SUP, Kayaks/Canoes, Dinghies, Rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour.  The only slipway open will be the one located by the Harbour Office.  Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and must be obtained before launching. Payment should be made by card, and if you wish to apply for an Annual License please email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

Phase 3:  All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the Harbour for navigation.

Phase 4:  Harbour reopens fully.

Harbour users will be advised of movement through phases 4 by way of promulgation of Local Notices to Mariners.  Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.  

Advancement through to phase 4 will be subject to continued Government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding Covid-19. 

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognized commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

A deteriorating situation will result in restrictions being reinstated.

38/20 Harbour phased reopening: Phase 2

From Monday 29 June, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin phase 2 of reopening the harbour for leisure use.

The Harbour Office will be open 10am to 3pm for navigation licences. If you need to contact the office, email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

The Harbour Authority has introduced safety precautions and is working within social distancing guidelines to protect both colleagues and our customers. Visitors should follow all signs and instructions.

All manually propelled craft (SUP, kayaks / canoes, dinghies, rowing boats) will be able to navigate the Harbour.

The only slipway open will be the one located by the Harbour Office.

Navigation licences will be issued from the Harbour Office only and must be obtained before launching. Payment should be made by card.

If you wish to apply for an Annual Licence email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk.

For information about phase 3 and 4, see notice 37/20, below.

37/20 Harbour phased reopening: COVID-19 update June 20

From Monday 8 June, Bristol Harbour Authority will begin a phased reopening of the harbour for leisure use.

Harbour Authority working hours will continue to be 9am to 5pm.

We want everyone to be able to use and enjoy our harbour in a safe and responsible way. At this time we must also consider the need for social distancing for our staff, and harbour users, meaning some services and support had to change.

As restrictions are eased we’re working on a phased return to usual service which keeps everyone safe. Thank you for your patience as we adapt.

Phase 1

From Monday 8 June 2020 members from recognised clubs using manually propelled craft and sailing dinghies only will be able to navigate the harbour.

These clubs have been notified by the Harbour Office.

Clubs will need to follow their own guidelines and safety measures regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), and should refrain from activities not currently sanctioned by their relevant association. The clubs permitted to use the Harbour in Phase 1 may go afloat outside of Harbour Authority working hours providing the relevant Code of Practices are adhered to.

Phase 2

All manually propelled craft (SUP, kayaks / canoes, dinghies, rowing boats) will be able to navigate the harbor, and the slipway will open.

Navigation licenses will be issued from the Harbour Office only and payment should be made by card.

Phase 3

All permanent leisure berth holders will be able to use the harbour for navigation.

Phase 4

The harbour will reopen fully.

Harbour users will be advised of movement through phases 1 to 4 by way of declaration of Local Notices to Mariners.  

Enquiries about dates

Enquiries regarding specific dates of phases should not be made to the Harbour Office.  

Advancement through phases 2, 3, and 4 will be subject to continued government relaxation of restrictions and improvement in the local and national situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).

Who this applies to

The above only applies to leisure use and all current recognised commercial operators should contact the Harbour Office to discuss their commencement of operations upon the water.

If the situation deteriorates then restrictions will be reinstated.

36/20 Harbour Office COVID-19 update 18 May 2020

Although the Government has issued new guidelines, Bristol Harbour will continue working GMT hours with reduced staff and hours, as part of the Government advice on social distancing. 

The Harbour area from Tongue Head to Hanham including the River Avon, will remain closed for navigation. 

The public slipway is closed until further notice and no Navigation License’s will be issued.

The Harbour Office is closed to the public.

To contact the office call 0117 9031484 between 10am to 3pm, or email harbour.office@bristol.gov.uk

35/20 Harbour Office, coronavirus (COVID-19): Operating Hours 2020

From Monday 23 March 2020, until further notice, the Harbour Office will continue operating within GMT times. We will not move to BST from April 2020. 

In these uncertain times it is necessary that we maintain essential Harbour duties and the safety of our staff by continuing to work winter hours. 

Marine Officers will remain on duty from 9am until 5pm, 7 days a week carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies only.  

An emergency telephone service (0117 9031484) will continue to be available during operational hours, using option 2.

The public slipway will be closed until further notice and no Short Term Navigation License’s will be issued.

The Harbour Office will be closed until further notice.  To contact the office by telephone, call 0117 9031484 between 10am until 3pm.

Tidal / locking operations will continue, but all bookings must be made at least 48 hours in advance and must be confirmed by Harbour staff.

To make a booking, call and leave a message with the Watch House on 0117 927 3633. 

34/20 Harbour Office Winter Opening Times 2019/20

Starting Monday 30 September 2019 to Sunday 29 March 2020

Opening hours Monday to Sunday: 10am to 3pm.

The Harbour Office will be open for general enquiries, licencing and the purchasing of commodities during these times.

Duty Officers will be on duty between 7.30am to 10pm until 28 October 2019 then 9am to 5pm until 29 March 2019 carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies only.

Emergency telephone service An emergency telephone service, 0117 903 1484 option 2, will be available during operational hours.

33/20 Cumberland Basin: Winter Locking Operations 2019/20

Starting Monday 28 October 2019 to Sunday 29 March 2020

Locking services will not be routinely provided between 5pm and 9am.

To arrange a locking operation you must you must give a minimum of 48 hours’ notice, especially when locking requests are during the out of hour’s period.

Call 0117 927 3633 where you can leave a message for the Deputy Harbour Master.

32/20 Prince Street Bridge: Winter Operating Times 2019/20

Starting Monday 28 October 2019 to Sunday 29 March 2020

If you want to pass east or westbound through Prince Street Bridge with a vessel that is higher than the clearance height, you may arrange to have Prince Street bridge swung at the following times:

Monday to Friday

  • 9.30am
  • 10.30am
  • 11.30am
  • 12.30pm
  • 1.30pm
  • 2.30pm
  • 3.15pm
  • 4.15pm

Priority swings
Priority swings will be given 3 and a half hours before high water to 1 and a half hours after high water. Outside these tidal times, the above-published swings will be at the discretion of the Harbour Master.

Swing requests within the tidal period should be made at least one hour in advance.

These requests can be made to the Harbour Office:
Tel: 0117 903 1484
VHF Radio: Channel 73, call sign Bristol Floating Harbour.

Vessels entering from seaward can also contact the Marine Services Supervisor at Cumberland Basin:
Tel: 0117 927 3633
VHF Radio: Channel 14, call sign City Docks Radio.

31/20 Netham Lock: Winter Operating Times 2019/20

Starting Monday 30 September 2019 to Sunday 29 March 2020.

Locking operations will only be available between: 9.30am to 3.45pm daily. To arrange a locking operation call the Harbour Office on 0117 903 1484.

Harbour staff will be on duty between 9am and 5pm daily and will be available to assist with these operations.

30/20 Harbour Office Summer Opening Times 2020

Starting Wednesday April 1 2020 to Saturday 31 October 2020,

Opening hours Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 4.30pm The Harbour Office will be open for general enquiries, licencing and the purchasing of commodities during these times.

Duty Officers will remain on duty until 10pm, carrying out dock patrols and will be on call to respond to emergencies only.

The Baltic Wharf slipway may be locked after 5pm if the Duty Officers are not in the vicinity.

Emergency telephone service
An emergency telephone service, 0117 903 1484 option 2, will be available during operational hours.

29/20 Netham Lock: Summer Operating Times 2020

Starting Wednesday 1 April 2020 to Wednesday 30 September 2020

Hours of operation: 6.50am to 10.10pm You should arrive at the lock at least one hour before it closes to ensure passage through the lock.

28/20 Prince Street Bridge Summer operating Times 2020

Starting Wednesday 1 April 2020 to Saturday 31 October 2020

If you want to pass east or westbound through Prince Street Bridge with a vessel that is higher than the clearance height, you may have arrange to have Prince Street bridge swung at the following times:

Monday to Friday

  • 9.30am
  • 10.30am
  • 11.30am
  • 12.30pm
  • 1.30pm
  • 2.30pm
  • 3.30pm
  • 4.30pm
  • 6.30pm
  • 7.30pm
  • 8.30pm
  • 9.30pm

Weekends and Bank Holidays

Two extra swings listed at:

  • 8.30am
  • 5.30pm

Priority swings

Priority swings will be given 3 and a half hours before high water to 1 and a half hours after high water.

Outside these tidal times, the above-published swings will be at the discretion of the Harbour Master.

Swing requests within the tidal period should be made at least one hour in advance.

These requests can be made to the Harbour Office:
Tel: 0117 903 1484
VHF Radio: Channel 73, call sign Bristol Floating Harbour.

Vessels entering from seaward can also contact the Marine Services Supervisor at Cumberland Basin:
Tel: 0117 927 3633
VHF Radio: Channel 14, call sign City Docks Radio.

27/20 Scouring Operations Cumberland Basin 2020

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

May

  • 6 May 2020 at 12.30pm
  • 21 May 2020 at 12.45pm

June

  • 5 June 2020 at 12pm
  • 19 June 2020 at 1pm

The rest are TBC.

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.

26/20 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.

25/20 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.

24/20 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.

23/20 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

22/20 Quayside Events 2020

Throughout the year numerous quayside events take place. These may cause some restrictions to visitor’s moorings.

Visitors are requested to contact the Harbour Office for more details and directions on entering the harbour.

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.

20/20 Minor events in floating harbour 2020

22 February BWSC Head Of Harbour

18 April BRC Sprint Regatta

19 April OMRA Model Boat Race

2 May Sea Scouts Multi Sport Event to Baltic Wharf

3 May Bristol 10 K

17 May Triathlon

23 and 24 May Sea Cadet Regatta

5 June SUP event

7 June Sea Scouts Multi Sport Event to Baltic Wharf

10 June Rotary Dragon Boat Event

20 and 21 June BWSC Regatta

3 July SUP Event

4 July Sea Cadets Combined Regatta

5 July Sea Scouts Multi Sports event Baltic Wharf

17 and 19 July Harbour Festival

26 September See Change Charity Dragon Boat

27 September Bristol Half marathon

31 October BWSC Head Of Harbour Race

Times are between 1000 and 1800 hrs approximately.

Vessels are requested to proceed with caution in the vicinity of these events.

19/20 Baltic Wharf sailing club: Head of the harbour sailing race

Baltic Wharf to Prince Street Bridge

Saturday 31 October 2020, 1pm to 4pm

This event involves dinghy racing with a large number of sailing craft racing between Baltic Wharf and Prince St. Bridge. Mariners should navigate with caution.

18/20 Bristol half marathon: Prince Street Bridge swing restriction

Sunday 27 September 2020, 8.30am to 2pm

The route of the annual Bristol Half Marathon will encompass the Floating Harbour between Prince St. Bridge and Junction Lock Bridge. The race will commence at 8.30am and finish by 2pm.

During this time Prince St. Bridge will not be swung for vessels. Mariners who may be disrupted by this restriction are advised to contact the Harbour Office to make alternative arrangements.

17/20 See change to Julian house to Charity dragon boat race

Saturday 26 September 2020, 10.30am to 5pm

This event will take place on the south side of the Harbour at Baltic Wharf between the Cottage Inn and the Bristol Marina.

It will consist of groups of dragon boats racing in a 30 metre wide course marked by yellow buoys.

Mariners are requested to proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution when passing through the course.

16/20 City of Bristol rowing club to Corporate regatta

Baltic Wharf to Bristol Marina

Sunday 6 September 2020, 10am to 2pm

Side by side sprint racing from Baltic Wharf to Bristol Marina. Eight of Bristol’s leading companies compete in eights against each other after learning to row in August.

Each race will last around 4 minutes.

Take part in the ergo challenge and enter the club’s raffle to win prizes from local supporters.

15/20 Harbour Festival

Friday 17 July to Sunday 19 July 2020

Vessels entered for this event will be moored in the Floating Harbour on pontoons projecting from the quayside at:

  • Canons Marsh
  • St. Augustine’s Reach
  • Amphitheatre
  • Hanover Quay

Installation of these pontoons will commence 4 weeks prior to the event and be dismantled within 4 weeks after the event. Vessels moored in these areas that are not entered for the event will be required to moor elsewhere as directed by the Harbour Master.

Aquatic events will take place in this area throughout the above period. Craft moored in this area should be prepared for some wash from these events and ensure their vessels are adequately fendered.

Vessels passing through this area may be delayed for periods of up to 20 minutes whilst these events take place.

14/20 South West Sea scouts multi sports

Sunday 5 July 2020, 8am to 5pm

This event is organised by the scouts and will consist of a number of young people taking part in multi activity water sports in the Baltic Wharf/Cumberland Basin area.

Mariners should give due consideration to participating craft.

13/20 South West Sea cadets combined regatta: Baltic Wharf

Saturday 4 July 2020, 8am to 5pm

This event is organised by the TS Adventure Sea Cadet Unit and will consist of a number of young people taking part in pulling boats, racing and carrying out manoeuvres in the Baltic Wharf/Cumberland Basin area.

Mariners should give due consideration to participating craft.

12/20 SUP Event at Baltic Wharf

Friday 3 July 2020, 9.30am to 4pm

This event will involve multiple paddle boarders racing around markers at Baltic Wharf. Mariners are requested to proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution when passing through the course.

11/20 Baltic Wharf Sailing club at Sailing regatta

Baltic Wharf to Prince Street Bridge

Saturday 20 June and Sunday 21 June 2020, 10am to 5pm

This event will involve a number of sailing craft taking part in races at Baltic Wharf. Mariners are requested to proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution in this area.

10/20 Rotary charity dragon boat race to Baltic Wharf

Wednesday 10 June 2020, 10am to 5pm

This event will take place on the south side of the Harbour at Baltic Wharf between the Cottage Inn and the Bristol Marina.

It will consist of groups of dragon boats racing in a 30 meter wide course marked by yellow buoys.

Mariners are requested to proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution when passing through the course.

9/20 South West Sea scouts multi sports

Sunday 7 June and 2020, 8am to 5pm

This event is organised by the scouts and will consist of a number of young people taking part in multi activity water sports in the Baltic Wharf/Cumberland Basin area.

Mariners should give due consideration to participating craft.

8/20 SUP Event at Baltic Wharf

Friday 5 June 2020, 9.30am to 4pm

This event will involve multiple paddle boarders racing around markers at Baltic Wharf. Mariners are requested to proceed at a slow speed and navigate with caution when passing through the course.

7/20 South West Sea cadets district regatta

Saturday 23 may and Sunday 24 may 2020, 10am to 5pm

This event is organised by the TS Adventure Sea Cadet Unit and will consist of a number of young people taking part in pulling boats, racing and carrying out manoeuvres in the Baltic Wharf/Cumberland Basin area.

Mariners should give due consideration to participating craft.

6/20 Triathlon

Sunday 17 May 2020, 10am to 6pm

This event will take place in the Cumberland Basin and will involve swimmers in the Basin.

Navigation will be closed into Cumberland Basin for the day.

5/20 Great Bristol 10k: Prince Street Bridge swing restriction

Sunday 3 May 2020, 8.30am to 2pm

This event takes place around the Harbour area and several road closures will be in place preventing vehicular access to the Harbour.

Prince St. Bridge will not be swung until 1:30pm.

Mariners should contact the Harbour Office to arrange this swing if required.

4/20 South West Sea scouts multi sports

Saturday 2 may 2020, 8am to 5pm

This event is organised by the scouts and will consist of a number of young people taking part in multi activity water sports in the Baltic Wharf/Cumberland Basin area.

Mariners should give due consideration to participating craft.

3/20 OMRA, Model boat Race

Sunday 19 April 2020, 10am to 5pm

This event involves model power boats racing around a set course at Baltic Wharf.

All vessels navigating in this area are requested to keep to the north side of the harbour and navigate at a slow speed with caution.

2/20 City of Bristol Rowing Club at district regatta SS Great Britain to Baltic Wharf

Saturday 18 April 2020, 10am to 4pm

Experience side by side sprint racing in Bristol docks at this new rowing regatta. The races will start at SS Great Britain and finish in front of Underfall Yard.

Each race will last around 2 minutes. Enter the club’s raffle to win prizes from local supporters.

1/20 Baltic Wharf Sailing Club: Head of the harbour sailing race Baltic Wharf to Prince Street Bridge

Saturday 22 February 2020, 1pm to 4pm

This event involves dinghy racing with a large number of sailing craft racing between Baltic Wharf and Prince St. Bridge.

Mariners should navigate with caution.

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