Brief report to FYCA.
Overview report by Alan McPherson, Chief Harbourmaster, advised that FPplc is increasing
towage activity with acquisition of Targe Towing; has acquired plow dredger “Sentinal”; that
an outer 220m berth is to be built at Leith approach in 2023; that Harland & Wolf will develop
Methil further; that Braefoot terminal‘s working life is extended by current maintenance to
allow a further 20 years of operation; that Grangemouth, Kirkcaldy and Rosyth are enjoying
increasing traffic but cruiseliner traffic is slow to recover from pandemic impact.
FP’s Marine team under the Chief Harbourmaster now includes Ashley Nicholson, John
Cowie, Andrew Blake, Mike Gibson, Scott Cameron.
Ashley Nicholson outlined increasing concern by Transport Scotland in safety issues in small
harbours as well as the commercial ports, advising that all harbour owners, managers and
users should familiarise themselves with the Port Marine Safety Code which can be found at
http://www.forthports.co.uk/marine . This gives valuable working advice, regarding the
powers, obligations and duties of all those involved, including those of landowners. DfT and
MCA are currently focussed on Statutory Ports and Harbours but intend to widen their
scrutiny to non-statutory (small) ports also. In particular harbour users should have clear
understanding of who has responsibility for safety and ensure that appropriate risk
assessments, guidelines and working method procedures are in place and respected. These
should be subject to regular review and participation and include written procedures for such
activities as hire of craneage and how HSE workplace codes are satisfied. Forth Ports
wishes to help clubs and small harbour managers meet the increasingly stringent legal
obligations and will be happy to visit small harbours if asked.
The MAIB (within the DoT) wish to have any incident reported. Boaters should always fill in
the accident book following even non-injury safety incidents. The MAIB Safety Digests are
available on line providing worthwhile advice and may improve knowledge. The RYAS
disseminates some of the reports to associate club members. The “Cherry Sands” report
09/2020 should be read, while advice on safe transfer of personnel from vessel to shore and
the need for securing any vessel before such action should be mandated in working
procedures. All recreational clubs should try to communicate with all small craft and water
users of their harbour and involve them in formulating and spreading use of safe working
practices. Forth Ports have a social media capacity which can be used to support such
A copy of the current Port Marine Safety Code can also be downloaded here.