Navigation and Pilotage
Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners (LPHC) is the Conservancy Authority and Competent Harbour Authority responsible under primary legislation (The Londonderry Port & Harbour Act 1854) for the operation and management of the Port of Londonderry. Under Section 7 of the Pilotage Act 1987 LPHC is the Pilotage Authority for Lough Foyle and responsible for providing pilotage in the Port of Londonderry and its approaches. LPHC also has the exclusive responsibility for the authorising and providing of pilot boats under Section 6 of the Pilotage Act 1987 and the responsibility for setting pilotage charges under Section 10 of the Pilotage Act 1987.
The Compulsory Pilotage Area is defined in LPHC Pilotage Directions which are available to download here.
The Competent Harbour Authority
By virtue of the Pilotage Act 1987 Londonderry Port & Harbour Commissioners (the Harbour Authority) are the Competent Harbour Authority for the Port of Londonderry. This requires Londonderry Port to “keep under consideration” what pilotage services need to be provided to secure the safe navigation of ships in their harbour and its approaches. This involves the following:
- Whether pilotage should be compulsory, and if so, for what classes of ships.
- The qualifications and number of people to be authorised as pilots within its area of jurisdiction.
- The training and regulation of authorised pilots.
- The provision of pilot boats to the approved standard.
- The granting of “Pilotage Exemption Certificates” to Officers of ships.
- The charges to be levied for the provision of Authorised Pilotage Services.
The area of jurisdiction within which Londonderry Port and Harbour Commissioners have jurisdiction shall be that area within Lough Foyle which extends from Craigavon Bridge at Londonderry to a line drawn from the Tower on Magilligan Point to Greencastle Fort.
Pilotage jurisdiction also includes the following ‘outer area’:
(a) Magilligan Point (Latitude 55°11.60 North, Longitude 006°57.90 West) to position Latitude 55°13.60 North, Longitude 006°51.00 West
(b) Then North to position Latitude 55°15.50 North, Longitude 006°51.00 West
(c) Then West to position Latitude 55°15.50 North, Longitude 006°55.30 West
(d) Then South to position Latitude 55°14.20 North, Longitude 006°55.30 West.
Foyle Port provides an internal pilotage service by highly trained professional Class 1 Pilots authorised to provide safe and efficient pilotage operations to all vessels navigating within the Port. Foyle Pilots are based in Greencastle, Co. Donegal and operate on VHF Channel 14. Pilots board large vessels at the outer pilotage area in the vicinity of the Foyle buoy. Vessels of less than 120metres in length are boarded at Greencastle.
All vessels must contact Harbour Radio on VHF Channel 14.