ABP Southampton Helps Keep the Solent Safe During Lendy Cowes Week

August 7, 2017

THIS year’s Lendy Cowes Week passed off without incident thanks to the efforts of the marine team at the Port of Southampton.

Working closely with the organisers to ensure the safety of everyone taking to the water, the marine team at the Port of Southampton is well practised at dealing with the scale of the event.

With 8,000 people and 2,000 yachts taking to the Solent during one of the world’s oldest and most respected regattas, ABP Southampton takes on the huge challenge of managing the traffic and safety of vessels ranging from the world’s largest container tankers and cruise ships to small leisure yachts and even paddle-boarders.

Captain Martin Phipps, Harbour Master at ABP Southampton, said: "We’re very experienced in handling huge amounts of Cowes Week traffic.

“We know that on the Friday fireworks night, anything from canoes and paddleboards to vast container ships will be afloat. This means we’ve worked with the Marine Police Unit and the Queen's Harbour Master in Portsmouth, to set a speed limit of 15 knots across the port's waters rather than the usual speed of 40 knots.

“As it happens following this year’s fireworks we had MOL Triumph coming into the container port and at 400m long she is one of the largest container ships in the world. Thanks to the co-operation of the shipping company we were able to agree timings to ensure the safety of people returning from the fireworks.”

During Cowes Week each year, a team of experts at the port goes to great lengths to help ensure one of the world’s largest annual events on water goes sailing by without a hitch.

Additional teams are drafted in to ensure safety on the water, along with increased numbers of launches and we station a pilot at race control to help co-ordinate shipping movements.

ABP Southampton is the harbour authority for the Solent and manages the UK’s number one port for export. With its team of highly-skilled pilots, ABP Southampton is able to continue normal operations through the busy cruise season unaffected by Cowes Week, despite the huge amount of extra traffic it brings.

Alastair Welch, director at ABP Southampton, said: "We take safety incredibly seriously at the port, not only during Cowes Week but all year round.

"The extra measures we put in place during Cowes Week aim to ensure continued safety for all involved whilst keeping our vital shipping lanes open.”