Keep clear of large ships
Kayakers and canoeists paddling in the Port River and other areas where large ships are navigating narrow channels should be aware that they need to keep clear and give way.
An enormous amount of preparation goes into making sure that these large ships can safely navigate through the narrow channels, the unknown part is the small vessels that are found around the harbour.
A ship can't manouver or change course as it may run aground and the consequences can be severe.
The Port River chanel is 130 m wide while an average large container ship is around 300 metres long – there is no room for error when piloting in. In addition the Bridge can be up to 40 metres above the water so the ships pilot is the equivalent height of a 12 storey building. At that height the view of the water is very different, boats on the water are tiny and sometimes the pilot's view is obstructed by items on the deck such as containers. This can produce blind spots where the master or pilot is not able to see what's on the water ahead.
Navigational aids that mark the deep water channels are essential for the safety of larger ships.
Enjoy paddling in the Port River and other areas of SA coast but be aware of other craft and larger vessels in your area. Keep clear of large ships to stay safe from the dangers they can present.
(Acknowledgement: Material on this page was taken from OnDeck Issue 17)