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Navigation around large vessels

Tauranga Harbour is a busy commercial port, with high numbers of ships and an increasing number of recreational vessels using a narrow channel that has strong tidal flows.  Large ships cannot stop and are restricted in their ability to maneuver.  If Pilots are distracted whilst trying to locate small vessels in front of them, the risk of significant incident increases.

Recreational vessels that travel within 500m of a piloted vessel are obscured from the Pilot’s line of site and risk not being seen. To help ensure the safety of smaller recreational vessels, and to reduce the risk of serious incidents, it is proposed to introduce a ‘moving prohibited zone’ directly ahead and immediately to the side of large vessels under the control of a Pilot (over 500 gross tonnes).

The moving prohibited zone moves with the large vessel and is applied in many other ports where there is significant commercial shipping. 

Falling logs and/or cargo and equipment presents a danger to any vessels in close proximity. Moored ships may also operate their engines at any time which can cause a danger to small craft in the vicinity. With heightened security awareness, it is the preference of berthed vessels that small craft do not come too close to them. This is particularly true for Cruise Ships.