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Passage Planning Guide - English Channel, Dover Strait & Southern North Sea (2019 Edition)

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Media Hardcopy
SKU 9781856098410
Publisher Witherby Seamanship International
ISBN 9781856098410

Passage Planning Guide – English Channel, Dover Strait and Southern North Sea provides up-to-date information for the safe and controlled transit of vessels through this region, covering passages to and from:

  • Wandelaar/Schelde
  • MAAS/Rotterdam
  • Sunk/Thames
  • Elbe/Weser/Jade.


The 2019 edition of this guide has been fully revised and updated with assistance from serving deep sea pilots and leading industry organisations. Features include: full-colour, pull-out chartlets; a new section on traffic hotspots; details of traffic and main ferry routes; weather and tidal information; and TSS and VTS information. A ‘Tidal Stream Charts and Tables’ supplement and two loose leaf copies of the Pre-Entry Bridge Team Meeting checklist are also included.

PART 1 – Background and Supporting Notes to the Guide

1.1 Introduction

1.1.1 Explanation of Routes Shown on the Chartlets in this Guide

1.2 DW Route, UKC and Increase in Draught due to Rolling on VLCCs and ULCSs

1.2.1 DW Routes in the Southern North Sea and German Bight

1.2.2 Deep Draught Vessels that are SW-bound

1.3 Considerations for Planning Routes in the TSSs off Terschelling/German Bight

1.4 Preparation

1.4.1 Emission Control Areas

1.5 Passage Planning Guidance

1.5.1 Purpose of Passage Planning

1.5.2 Error Management

1.5.3 Preparations for the Plan

1.5.4 Preparing the Plan

1.5.5 Preparing Paper Charts

1.5.6 Preparing ECDIS

1.5.7 Preparing or Amending Passage Notes

1.5.8 Pre-Entry Bridge Team Meeting

1.5.9 Monitoring the Passage Plan

1.6 Channel Navigation Information Service (CNIS)

1.6.1 Suspicious Small Craft

1.7 Right of Way

1.8 Background to Deep Sea Pilotage in the North Sea, English Channel and the Skagerrak

1.9 Using Services of a Deep Sea Pilot

1.10 Deep Sea Pilot Stations

1.11 SWATH Pilot Tenders

1.12 Deep Sea Pilotage Agencies

1.13 AIS, Local Requirements and Reporting

1.14 VHF Communication and Collision Avoidance

1.15 Visual Aids to Navigation

1.16 Coverage of the Relevant Volumes of the ‘Admiralty Sailing Directions’

1.17 Charts and Nautical Publications

1.18 Tidal and Current Effects

1.19 General Direction of Buoyage

1.20 Traffic and Main Ferry Routes

1.21 Wind Farms

1.22 Groundings and Collisions in the English Channel, Dover Strait and Southern North Sea – Case Studies

1.22.1 Collision between the ‘Norwegian Dream’ and the ‘Ever Decent’ – August 1999

1.22.2 Collision between the ‘Tricolor’ and the ‘Kariba’ – December 2002

1.22.3 Collision between the ‘Nedlloyd Vespucci’ and the Yacht ‘Wahkuna’ – May 2003

1.22.4 Near Miss between the ‘Maersk Dover’, the ‘Maersk Vancouver’ and the ‘Apollonia’ – October 2006

1.22.5 Near Miss between the ‘Costa Atlantica’ and the ‘Grand Neptune’ – May 2008

1.22.6 Collision between the ‘Scot Isles’ and the ‘Wadi Halfa’ – October 2008

1.22.7 Loss of the ‘Baltic Ace’ after a Collision with the ‘Corvus J’ – December 2012

1.22.8 Grounding of the ‘Ovit’ – September 2013

1.22.9 Collision between the ‘Paula C’ and the ‘Darya Gayatri’ – December 2013

1.22.10 Collision between the ‘Rickmers Dubai’ and the ‘Walcon Wizard’ – January 2014

1.22.11 Close Quarters Situation in the Sandettié Deep Water Route – 2016

1.22.12 Collision between the 'Saga Sky' and the 'Stema Barge II' due to Turn in Heavy Weather – November 2016

1.22.13 Collision between the ‘Huayang Endeavour’ and the ‘Seafrontier’ – July 2017

1.22.14 Loss of Containers Overboard from the ‘MSC Zoe’ – January 2019

1.23 Traffic Hotspots

1.23.1 NE-bound – North Hinder

1.23.2 Eastbound North Hinder – MAAS Center

1.23.3 NE-bound – TSS Off Vlieland

1.23.4 Westbound – out of Europoort

1.23.5 SW-bound – in the vicinity of Foxtrot 3

1.23.6 SW-bound – South Falls

1.23.7 SW-bound – after The Varne

1.23.8 NE-bound – Rijnveld

1.23.9 Rounding Sunk Centre LTV from the South and/or East

1.23.10 Arriving at Wandelaar Pilot Station

1.23.11 From MAAS Junction to Steenbank PBG/Schouwenbank Precautionary Area


PART 2 – Passage Notes

NE-bound Approaches to Cap Gris-Nez

NE-bound Cap Gris-Nez to Sunk

NE-bound Cap Gris-Nez to Wandelaar

NE-bound Cap Gris-Nez to North Hinder/MAAS

NE-bound Cap Gris-Nez to Elbe/Jade Weser Pilots

SW-bound Elbe/Jade Weser Pilots to South of Varne

SW-bound MAAS to South of Varne

SW-bound Wandelaar to South of Varne

SW-bound Sunk to South of Varne

SW-bound Outward from The Varne


PART 3 – Annexes

Annex 1 – Pre-Entry Bridge Team Meeting

Annex 2 – MGN 364 Navigation: Traffic Separation Schemes – Application of Rule 10 and Navigation in the Dover Strait

Annex 3 – MGN 375 Navigation: Maritime Safety Information (MSI)

Annex 4 – MGN 506 Navigation: Deep-Sea Pilotage in the North Sea, English Channel and the Skagerrak

Annex 5 – MGN 564 (Amendment 1) Marine Casualty and Marine Incident Reporting

Annex 6 – MSN 1831 Vessel Traffic Monitoring Notification and Reporting Requirements for Ships and Ports

Annex 7 – Marine Accident Investigation Agency Contacts

Annex 8 – Navigation and Weather Warnings Diagrams

Rigorous passage planning can significantly minimise the risk of navigational error, particularly in areas of high traffic

density and restricted sea room such as those found in the English Channel, Dover Strait and Southern North Sea.

This Guide aims to assist with passage planning along the main shipping routes and to and from the major ports in the

region. An overview of the essential navigation references for each leg of the route is provided.

It is recommended that all important information for the passage is compiled for use by the OOW and made available:

On the navigational chart or ECDIS

as a set of ship-specific passage notes.

The Passage Notes in this Guide should be available on the chart table to assist with continuous passage monitoring.

The Passage Notes in this Guide provide a general indication of traffic flow, although it remains the responsibility of the

OOW to plot suitable tracks, using the Passage Notes for assistance. They cover primary lights and buoys, distinctive

chart features, points of radar prominence and notes on areas that are critical to the transit.

Passage planning recommendations also draw on the ‘Bridge Procedures Guide’ (ICS) for guidance, a document that is usually available on board. Information also comes from two Nautical Institute publications, ‘Bridge Team Management’ and ‘Bridge Watchkeeping’. Additionally, further passage planning guidance for paper charts and ECDIS can be found in three Witherby publications, ‘Passage Planning Guidelines’, ‘ECDIS Passage Planning and Watchkeeping’ and ‘Rule 10 TSS’.

The Dover Strait was the first IMO approved TSS and was the first to be fully covered by radar surveillance. The Dover

Strait TSS has a Mandatory Reporting Scheme that is IMO approved and requires all ships >300 GT to make a report

before proceeding through the service area, known as (CALDOVREP), to either Centre Régional Opérationnel de

Surveillance et de Sauvetage (CROSS) Gris-Nez for the NE lane, or Dover Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) for the SW lane.

Because of differences in operating cultures and practices between shipping companies, it is not always possible to

provide definitive advice within this Guide. As an example, bridge and engine room manning remain matters for

shipboard attention that may require annotation of the Passage Notes before use.

Title: Passage Planning Guide - English Channel, Dover Strait & Southern North Sea (2019 Edition)
Number of Volumes: 1
Edition: Sixth
Product Code: WS1670K
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-841-0 (9781856098410), ISBN 10: 1-85609-841-9 (1856098419)
Published Date: June 2019
Binding Format: Hardback
Book Height: 300 mm
Book Width: 260 mm
Book Spine: 40 mm
Weight: 2.20 kg

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