Summary of Lymington Harbour Commissioners Presentation

Posted on 23 Apr 2008

Safety Risk Assessment

The Lymington Harbour Commissioners recently announced the publication of the Phase One Report of the major Risk Assessment exercise in connection with Wightlink’s wish to replace their ageing C- Class ferries with the new W- Class later this year.

The independent marine consultancy BMT Seatech carried out this first phase assessment over four months in consultation with representatives of all the river users. They have concluded that, subject to confirmation during the sea trials when the new vessels are available for test, no changes will be needed to the manner in which the existing leisure activities on the river are currently regulated.

Subject to confirmation during the sea trials, BMT expect that the current ferry operating speeds in the river can be maintained. It was also concluded that ferries should no longer wait in the river prior to passing in Short Reach.

In a recent meeting at which the report was presented to the consultees, some raised continuing concern regarding the effects of wind shadow and the vessel’s thrusters on sailing dinghies and small yachts without auxiliary power.  The Commissioners accept the validity of these concerns and agreed that these aspects would be further evaluated during the proposed sea trials.

The Commissioners will now work with BMT Seatech and the consultees to establish a detailed Sea Trials programme to take place when two new ferries are available.


The Lymington Harbour Commissioners are awaiting the outcome of the Appropriate Assessment that the Marine Fisheries Agency will be undertaking in connection with Wightlink’s application for consents for their terminal works. Lymington Harbour Commissioners will continue to work closely with the Marine Fisheries Agency, Natural England, and the other principal regulators during this process.