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Passage Planning Guide: English Channel and Dover Strait, 4th Edition

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Passage Planning Guide: English Channel and Dover Strait, 4th Edition

The English Channel and Dover Strait area is carefully monitored by traffic advisory organisations, and although they control the traffic, these systems do result in concentrating ships into narrow areas with frequent adverse weather conditions.


At the Anglo-French Safety of Navigation Group (AFSONG) meeting, held in May 2008, concern was expressed, by both the MCA and the French Administration (MEEDDAT), that excessive speed by vessels in the Dover Strait/Pas-de-Calais TSS may be a contributing factor to accidents, near misses and groundings. Using the IMO-preferred methodology of a Formal Safety Assessment, a study was jointly funded by the United Kingdom and French Governments to:

• Establish the risk of collisions, near misses and groundings in the Dover Strait/Pas-de-Calais posed by shipping

• use the IMO FSA methodology to approach the question of reducing risk

• propose risk mitigation measures to reduce the risk and to measure the risk reduction that speed management would provide in comparison to other controls.


This passage planning guide is intended to provide up-to-date assistance for the safe and controlled transit of merchant ships through the English Channel, Dover Strait and Southern North Sea, covering passages to and from:

- Wandelaar/Schelde

- MAAS/Rotterdam

- Sunk/Thames.


This 2015 Edition of this Guide was refined after discussion and assistance from serving Deep Sea Pilots and industry organisations and using the feedback from a number of voyages made through this waterway while using previous editions.