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Contact Dover Marina The Dover Marina team comprises of fully trained Berthing Masters, who provide cover in the Marina Office operating the dock gates and swing bridge answering enquires, monitoring security CCTV and admin duties. There is also a full complement of boatyard services and a 24/7 Harbour Patrol Launch. If you would like more information about any aspect of Dover Marina and its amenities, please contact:

  Tel: +44 (0) 1304 241 663

The Marina office is located at the Granville Dock car park, across from the Wellington Dock and Tidal Harbour.

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Port of Dover Leisure Zone Management Strategy

The Port of Dover has two distinct areas for waterborne recreational activity:

The Government’s Port Marine Safety Code accompanying Guide to Good Practice on Port Marine Operations makes specific reference to recreational activities within harbours. The Port of Dover has recognised and taken a proactive approach to the risk management of such leisure activities within its jurisdiction by ensuring that an appropriate leisure zone management strategy exists for each area.

Responsibility for the management of these leisure zones rests with the Harbour Master and the Port Operations Department, who will consult and liaise as appropriate, through stakeholder meetings or directly, with users of the port’s recreational facilities.

The Western Docks Marina

Dover Marina provides extensive facilities and specialist management for leisure craft users. The navigation of all craft to and from the Marina confines are regulated by two centres; in the first instance by ‘Dover Port Control’ controlling the movements in the Port’s main navigational fairways, then by ‘Dover Marina’ once within the Tidal Harbour and enclosed dock areas.

General navigational directions are issued and promulgated to local yacht clubs, yachting publications and Nautical Almanacs speed limits are in place for the harbour (8kts) and marina (4kts)] and details of safe water marks published. Detailed information concerning the use of the harbour by leisure craft is contained within the Port Marine Safety Code and is published in the Marina Guide issued to all berth holders.

As part of the Dover Western Docks Revival (DWDR) development, the Marina will be relocated to a purpose built dock immediately adjacent to the Prince of Wales Pier and to the new Tug Haven. The control of leisure craft movements will be maintained in a similar way to that utilised at present, but with a more precise ‘reporting’ point within the Marina alongside the addition of localised international port traffic signals and specific identified small craft waiting areas in the Outer Harbour.

The Outer Harbour Recreational Area

The Outer Harbour Recreational Area is a large but relatively shallow marked part of the harbour extending seaward from the beaches to the edge of the main shipping fairway crossing the harbour and the Eastern Docks Exclusion Zone; it is an area that encompasses all of the regular seafront beach based leisure activities.

There are numerous types of leisure activities that take place within this area, such as dinghy sailing, sail boarding, limited yachting, power boating, rowing, canoeing and swimming. General regulations direct the use of the recreational area, for example by requiring all power driven craft to keep 50m from the shore except when launching or landing, by prohibiting high speed leisure activities involving the use of power craft at high speed or Kite Surfing - the use of any Personal Water Craft is restricted to an area outside of the Admiralty Pier.

Whilst all of these activities take place within a common area there remain two prime strategies for effective safety management, one addressing that of the general public access and another for the organised leisure activities of the Dover Sea Sports Development Trust, (DSSDT).

General Public

The public have direct access to all the beaches from the promenade and a public slipway for the launching of small craft on trailers is provided at a single location. Prominent information signs are displayed on the promenade in the vicinity of the slipway and at the most populous access routes to the town beaches.

These notices contain simple guidance as to the conditions of use of the Recreational Area and give specific advice with regard to the ‘multi-use’ nature of this part of the harbour as well as navigational information for those intending to proceed beyond the area.

Similarly in areas where specific dangers are known to exist appropriate warning or prohibition signs are displayed, e.g. ‘No Diving’ where the water is too shallow or where the seabed is rocky. Signs are also placed at strategic locations warning bathers of the possibility of large waves caused by ferry movements. Contact numbers are provided in case of emergency.

Supervision of the recreational area is the responsibility of the Port of Dover Police and the Harbour Patrol Launch and patrols are conducted as required throughout the day, dependent on activity at any particular time, but especially in the main swimming season (April – Oct).

In addition to this direct management policy, Port Control maintain a visual watch on small craft navigating within the area, as does the DSSDT who have the ability to report directly to Port Control if an incident occurs. When it is necessary to warn or advise of anything that may temporarily affect the use of the recreational area additional signs are displayed along the promenade and if considered appropriate formal notices will be placed in the local press.

In an emergency, where urgent assistance is necessary call ‘999’ (or 112), and tell the operator which emergency service is required.

Dover Sea Sports Centre (DSSC)

The leisure operations of the four major organised activity centres based in Dover - the Rowing Club, Lifeguard Club, Watersports Centre and Deal Triathlon Club - are now based in a single building, known as the DSSC, with direct communication and facilities also available for the Channel Swimming Associations.

Dover Sea Sports Centre

It is now possible to route the water safety management strategy for virtually all of the organised leisure activities in the recreational area through this single facility for these formally totally independent clubs.

The DSSC is occupied by DSSDT as tenants of DHB who are subject to the terms and conditions of the ports ‘Access and Use Guide’. The purpose of this guide is to draw attention to the key issues to be considered when using port premises, including the recreational area of the harbour. DHB aims to minimise and control the risks associated with activities taking place on its land. To this end, DHB sets its own standards and procedures to apply specifically to the use of its land including the application of health and safety regulations and actions to be followed in the event of an incident.


DSSDT Management of Leisure Activities

The agreed water safety management procedures relate specifically to the beach area that falls within the footprint of the building and boat storage area, down to the waterfront and include the Recreational Area within the harbour.

The procedures are provided to ensure clubs and organisations operating from the DSSC are aware of the safety issues surrounding their sport or activity and the impact of the activity on the general public.

DSSDT and its partner organisations have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their members and participants at all times, and to consider and minimise any risks that may be presented to other users of the beach and the water. DSSDT and its partner organisations do not have any responsibility for the actions of the general public or any other user of the harbour or beach area. Users of the DSSC, however, may from time to time offer advice to recreational harbour users should they be deemed to be putting themselves or others in danger.


DSSC General Safety Protocol

In order to separate long distance swimmers and rowing sculls, distance marks are located to the west on the Prince of Wales Pier and to the east on the Reclaim Wall. Swimmers remain inshore of these marks and rowers to seaward. The teaching activities of any users of the DSSC are to be conducted in a clearly marked area away from the swimmers and sculls.

The standard code of behaviour is for rowers to give way to sail and swimmers, sail gives way to swimmers and power boats give way to all.


DSSC Enforcement and Regulation

Whilst considering these procedures, it is important to recognise that it is the Harbour Master who has powers to regulate, but not necessarily prohibit, the right of navigation and other activities within the port.

Byelaws and directions provide the main formal statutory mechanism for managing recreational navigation and leisure activities within the harbour; DHB adopts a consultation approach where possible in dealing with the recreational community and other harbour users. It is important that DSSC users and partner clubs adopt the same consultative approach with DHB and the general public to promote safe use of beach and water for the enjoyment and benefit of the community. A copy of the current DHB byelaws can be found in the DSSC.


DSSC Incident/Accident Reporting

In an emergency, where urgent assistance is necessary, call ‘999’ (or 112) and tell the operator which emergency service is required.

An incident afloat where assistance on the water is required must be reported to Dover Port Control. All incidents and accidents whether afloat or ashore are to be recorded in the DSSC duty log on the designated forms and DHB Port Safety is to be notified in the event of any reportable accident or incident. It is recognised that the individual clubs and organisations will also have their own reporting procedures to adhere to.

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