The Deputy Director of the Public Body Central Nautical Management, who is also the State Harbour Master, announces the following:
Seagoing ships should as much as possible avoid overtaking ingoing or outgoing oversized ships between the Velserpont and the entrance to Afrikahaven.
Binnen-buitenschepen (sea-river ships) are placed in the category of seagoing ships.
Following previous incidents in which smaller seagoing ships came into contact with the oversized ship as a result of suction, the following guideline for the North Sea Canal, called Oplopen bovenmaatse schepen Nee - Tenzij, (‘Overtaking oversized ships - no, unless’) is brought to your attention.
In the North Sea Canal between the Velserpont and the entrance to Afrikahaven, seagoing ships are not allowed to overtake oversized ships UNLESS certain conditions are met.
These conditions are the following:
- If a ship indicates that it wishes to overtake an oversized ship, the VTS Officer will clearly inform it of the oversized ship's draught and the traffic situation; the ship will then be requested to keep standby on the VHF after which the VTS Officer will inform the oversized ship of the request and ask if it can cooperate in this.
- The oversized ship's pilot must declare whether he can and will provide cooperation. Cooperation can be provided by reducing speed and/or deviating from the mid-fairway line. This will depend on the type of ship, its draught and other dimensions.
- The oversized ship's pilot must clearly communicate to the VTS Officer that he can and will provide cooperation. In that case, he must also clearly communicate in what way he will provide cooperation. If the traffic situation allows, the VTS Officer can inform the other ship that overtaking is allowed.
- If the oversized ship's pilot indicates that he cannot provide cooperation, he must clearly communicate this to the VTS Officer. The VTS Officer will inform the other ship that overtaking is not allowed. Also, if problems are anticipated in relation to the traffic situation, the VTS Officer will inform the other ship that overtaking is not allowed. The VTS Officer must communicate this clearly.
Moreover, it should be taken into account that the time saved by overtaking between the Velserpont and the entrance to Afrikahaven is only very limited.
The guideline mentioned above also applies in other stretches of the North Sea Canal, namely in Velserkom and east of Afrikahaven. Due to the nature of the waterway in these stretches, and due to the fact that oversized ships often secure their tugs here, there will be better opportunities for safely overtaking. But here too, clear communication and good agreements are important.
Should you have any questions about this Announcement, please contact the Duty Operations Manager at the following telephone number: +31 205 234 692.
The Deputy Director of the Public Body Central Nautical Management,
who is also the Deputy State Harbour Master