Gibraltar Port Authority and Royal Gibraltar Police Remind Marine Users of Speed Limit Within Harbour Waters

The Gibraltar Port Authority and Royal Gibraltar Police are reminding local mariners, particularly small pleasure craft and jet-ski users, that there is a speed limit of 5 knots in force within the inner harbour for the safety of all marine users.

The limit was incorporated within the Port Act in May 2015, following a safety of navigation risk assessment conducted on inner harbour movements. The assessment concluded that 5 knots was the optimal speed which kept vessels’ wake to a minimum, thereby preventing a nuisance or danger to other users.

Coinciding with the arrival of the summer season and increased marine traffic from the recently inaugurated Mid-Harbour Marina, the GPA and RGP are taking the opportunity to issue a reminder that ALL vessels must adhere to this speed limit. Any vessel(s) observed to be exceeding this limit is liable to prosecution. GPA Local Notice to Mariners 19 of 2015 detailing the speed limit is still in force and refers.

Deputy Captain of the Port, J Manuel .Tirado, said “the inner harbour is used by rowing boats, tenders and dinghies, many of which have a low freeboard and could easily be swamped, and vessels moored alongside could also be damaged. All users of this busy area of water should therefore navigate with due consideration to others to minimise the risk of injury or damage.”

For his part, Commissioner of Police Eddie Yome highlighted that “the summer months traditionally attract increased use of BGTW by locally based vessels, particularly small pleasure craft and jet-skis transiting through inner harbour waters and beaches”. He added that “together with the recent inauguration of the Mid-Harbour Marina, it is important for safety to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, and I would encourage everyone to read the recently published Safety at Sea booklet.”

Minister for the Port, the Hon Paul Balban, said: “the safety of all users in Gibraltar waters is of paramount importance to this Government, and maintaining a safe speed in the inner harbour is crucial to upholding the high standard of safety that all marine users have come to expect.”