Actions to be taken in severe weather conditions

At least one tug shall be called out by the ship’s Master to assist in keeping any vessel alongside when all the following conditions exist:

  1. The mean freeboard height of the vessel exceeds the mean draft.
  2. The wind is gusting 45 knots or more or at such lesser speed as requested by the Marine Co-ordinator or Ship’s Master in consultation with Sullom Voe VTS.
  3. When the wind direction is within an arc extending from 10 degrees to seaward of the berthing line, through north to 10 degrees seaward of the berthing line.

When a tug is called out as a result of the above conditions Sullom Voe VTS will notify the Master of the situation and request that the vessel be brought to a state of immediate readiness. Sullom Voe VTS will also notify the duty Harbour Master.

Tugs may be necessary to assist in keeping vessels alongside when some of the conditions above are absent. The Duty VTS Operator may call out tugs at his discretion if it is felt that the situation warrants such action.

A Pilot will board any vessel requiring tug assistance at the earliest opportunity and remain in attendance throughout the whole period a tug is required.

Vessels with large windage areas

Vessels with large windage areas will be subject to a wind restriction on berthing.

Wind restriction on berthing
Vessel windage (square metres) Wind restriction (knots)
Up to 6,000 30
6,001 - 6,700 25
More than 6,700 20

Windage should be calculated as LOA times mean freeboard.


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