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Exemptions from speed limit

From time to time you will see craft exceeding the speed limit through the harbour. The following list of vessels have permission to exceed the speed limit in the circumstances described.

Police Vessels
Police launch ALARM and Police RIB.

Harbour Patrol Vessels
VANGUARD and VANDYKE (Pilot boats - both fitted with CCTV equipment), VIGILANT, SURVEY ONE VIXEN (RIB),VIPER (PW).These craft will all patrol within the speed limit under normal circumstances, but will respond to emergencies, byelaws and other infringements at high speed.

RNLI Lifeboat and Inshore Rescue Boat
When on rescue or lifesaving operations.

Coastguard RIB
When on rescue or lifesaving operations.

Royal Marines
Employ a number of fast training craft and will exceed the speed limit when on operational duties. They will normally fly the White Ensign on these occasions.

Test run area
The half mile "Test Run" between Nos. 36 and WH 2 buoys in the Wareham Channel is for the testing of "production craft" (e.g. Sunseeker) when sea conditions outside the Harbour are unsuitable. These boats have to be launched and tested on a regular basis, often to meet important export schedules. If you have a legitimate need to use this facility apply to the Harbour Master. Unauthorised high speed use of this facility will be considered a breach of the speed limit byelaw.

The Speed limit of 10 knots is applicable throughout the year, but is relaxed in the Wareham Channel, Middle Ship and North Channels only between 1 October and 31 March.

Please note
Radar, CCTV, VHF communications and telephone conversations to Harbour Control are recorded for safety and training purposes.