• Approaches

    On the east coast of Mainland, Shetland Islands, facing Bressay Island and just over 300 km from Aberdeen, Bergen in Norway, and Torshavn in the Faroe Islands.

    Latitude: 60º 09’N
    Longitude: 01º 08’W

    Lerwick, on the east side of mainland Shetland, is a natural harbour on the sheltered waters of Bressay Sound. Surrounded by naturally deep water, there are two entrances – north and south – to the inner harbour and berthing areas. Access and approaches to Inner North Harbour and Greenhead Base areas have been deepened through various dredging programmes to depths 9 metres below Chart Datum.

    Northern port limit is a line due east from Hawksness to meet line due north from Outer Score. Southern port limit is a line drawn from The Skeo to Bard Head.

  • Byelaws and General Directions
  • Charts

    Refer to British Admiralty Charts No. 3270, 3271 & 3272.

    L.H.D. Marine Supplies Ltd

    The United Kingdom Hydrographic Office

  • Maps

    Visit our Resources page for downloadable harbour area maps.

  • Pilotage

    Pilotage is compulsory for vessels navigating within the Pilotage limits of Lerwick Harbour, which fall within the following categories, namely:-

    (a)every ship carrying passenger(s) and having a registered length of not less than 30 metres.
    (b)every oil tanker having a gross tonnage of not less than 1600 intending to berth, anchor, shift within, or transit through the area of the Inner Harbour.
    (c)every ship having onboard any explosive article or an explosive substance exceeding ten kilograms in weight and to which Article 3 of The Dangerous Substances in Harbour Areas Regulations 1987 (S.I. No. 37) apply and which have the characteristic properties and are classified as Class 1, Divisions 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.5 by Schedule of said Regulations.
    (d)i)other than a fishing vessel, every vessel exceeding 25 metres in length towing or under tow.
    ii)every fishing vessel of which the registered length exceeds 47.5 metres towing or under tow.
    (e)every vessel able only to manoeuvre with difficulty.
    (f)every vessel having a gross tonnage of not less than 3000 intending to berth, anchor, shift within, or transit through the area of the Inner Harbour.

    Pilot Boarding: Vessels entering by the south entrance will be boarded west of Kirkabister Lighthouse or near Knab Point if weather conditions are unsuitable. Vessels entering by the north entrance will be boarded abeam of the Green Holm and 0.5 miles NE of Beosetter Holm. If boarding conditions in this area are unsuitable, the south entrance must be used.

    Pilot Stations:

    South60º 07’.2N001º 08’.28W
    North60º 11’.78N001º 06’.7W

    Lerwick Harbour

    Lerwick Harbour is particularly defined in the Lerwick Harbour Acts 1877 to 2015 which are summarised as follows:

    That area of sea bounded generally on the North by a line due east from Hawks Ness to meet a line due north from Outer Score and bounded on the South by a line from The Skeo on the Mainland to Bard Head on Bressay.

    Pilotage Limits

    That area of sea bounded generally on the North by a line drawn from Hawks Ness to Green Holm to the island of Outer Score and bounded on the South by a line drawn from Trebister Ness to Kirkabister Ness.

    Inner Harbour

    Inner Harbour is defined as that part of the sea of Lerwick Harbour Area bounded on the North by a line drawn from Rova Head to Ness of Beosetter and on the South by a line drawn from Knab to Point of Ham. Dales Voe is defined as part of the sea South of the line of Latitude 60º 12.0' N.

  • Port Control/VHF

    Extensive radar coverage of the harbour area maintaining a continuous watch throughout 24 hours. In case of emergency, Port Control Office is manned 24 hours daily. VHF Channel 12 & 16.

  • Pre-Arrival

    Notification Requirements

    Under the Merchant Shipping (Vessel Traffic Monitoring and Reporting Requirements) vessels are required to provide notification to their intended port of call at least 24 hours in advance.

    The requirement applies to:-

    • all ships of 300 Gross Tonnage and greater;
    • fishing vessels, traditional ships and recreational craft, where the length of the vessel is 45 metres and greater.
    • all vessels irrespective of size, which are carrying dangerous or polluting goods.

    Masters and agents are advised that failure to provide notification at the appropriate time may result in the ship being delayed or denied access to the harbour authority areas and ports.

    Ship visit documentation requirements

    The Consolidated European Reporting System (CERS) has been developed as a central point where UK Ports send vessel traffic information, onward to SafeSeaNet (SSN), the central European data system run by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA).

    Vessel, Master, or Agent Send the port information which is uploaded into CERS, this information will be either to directly input it into CERS, or by submission of the CERS Workbook.

    The CERS Workbook has been designed in the form of an Excel Spreadsheet. This workbook contains tabs for input of all the necessary information to go into CERS and will replace all the existing forms used for inputting this information.

    The benefits of this are:

    • A single XL spreadsheet with tabs for each reporting element means that all voyage information is contained in the same place
    • Completion of vessel and voyage information copies across to other tabs, to avoid double inputting of the basic information
    • Security, Waste, and DPG information, can be submitted via e-mail to PFSOs, Terminal Managers, and Port Authorities all in one e-mail transaction
    • The Workbook can be retained and amended for submission to next port of call, avoiding the production of an entirely new document
    • It will be the same process for each port in UK instead of lots of different ways of reporting
    • CERS can extract the data from the Workbook in a simple upload process, so whoever compiles the data in the first instance, whether Agents or Vessel, can enter it into the Workbook once, and no further data entry is required along the reporting chain.

    Masters or agents of exempt vessels should forward evidence of their ship’s status to the harbour authority operations room at least 24 hours prior to arrival.

  • Tidal Range

    The mean tidal range is 0.8 metres neaps and 1.6 metres at Spring tides. The extreme range is only 2.4 metres.

    Daily, weekly and monthly tide tables are available on our Lerwick Harbour Today page.

  • Weather

    Weather information is available on the Lerwick Harbour Today page.

    Here are some useful links to other weather sites:

    Met Office (Lerwick 5-day forecast)

    Magic Seaweed (for UK & Ireland - Swell | Period | Wind | Pressure | Sea Temp | Surf | Jetstream)

    Windguru (for Lerwick forecast - week at a glance) (live wind map) (Norwegian Weather Forecast)

    BBC (for UK weather information)

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