Pilotage Information

The Pilotage function at EastPort UK is carried out by Great Yarmouth Port Company on behalf of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority. The Pilotage service operates 24 hours a day throughout the year.

Vessels having a length overall of 40 metres or greater are subject to compulsory Pilotage on entry and departure.

Vessels requiring and/or requesting a Pilot for arrival must provide notice at least 8 hours in advance or upon departure from their last port. Changes of ETA must be updated at all times and confirmed 2 hours prior to arrival.

Requests for Pilotage on departure must be provided at least 1 hour prior to the ETD. (If towage is required, please see below).

The information below is general guidance on Pilotage within the Port of Great Yarmouth. More detailed information is available here, with an overview here.

Communications / Reporting

Channel 12 (Call sign : Yarmouth Pilots)
Marine Services
Channel 12 (Call sign : Yarmouth Radio)

NOTE: VHF communications and telephone conversations with Marine Services (Yarmouth Radio) and pilots are recorded.

Vessels must report their position/situation to Yarmouth Radio when:

  • Passing through or just prior to passing through the Port entrances (Outer Harbour or River Port)
  • Prior to letting go from or completing mooring to, the berth
  • Swinging on or off the berth
  • In the River Port at Berth 13 (Atlas), Berth 7 (Ocean) and Haven Bridge.

IALA traffic signals, for both entry and exit, are displayed at the River Port and Outer Harbour entrances.

Tides General

The tidal range in the Port is approximately 1 metre on neaps and 2 metres on springs. It should be noted that slack water occurs approximately 90 minutes after high or low water.

Please also see Tides/Weather

Tide Tables for 2016 and 2017 are published below under Port Depths.


Port Depths

Soundings sheet for the River Port, Outer Harbour and the outer sea area within port limits, are held by the Harbour Office and may be inspected or obtained from the Harbour Office during normal work hours. PDF files of the survey sheets are available here:

Vessel Speed

All vessels should maintain a slow speed in the Port. Mariners are reminded that the maximum speed of 7 knots (Navigation Byelaw 14) is not necessarily a safe speed and a slower speed may be appropriate. Take care with vessel wash and avoid causing a nuisance to other vessels either moored or underway and particular care must be exercised when passing small craft moored in the river.

Vessels moored alongside should ensure that they have adequate moorings in place and tend to moorings and gangways at all times.

Masters should note that the running of main engines and thrusters whilst alongside, other than for immediate navigational requirements, is a contravention of the Harbour Byelaws


The requirement for tugs should be discussed with the Harbour Office or the Port Pilots. Ship’s Masters, Owners and Agents are directly responsible for procuring and arranging towage for their vessels.


Owing to strong tides at the Port entrances and in the River, it is customary local practice for Pilots to steer vessels.

Masters of vessels should always make their anchors available for immediate use.

Mooring & Boat Services

Mooring services are available 24/7 by contacting either Yarmouth Pilots or Yarmouth Radio on VHF Channel 12 giving 1 hours’ notice whenever possible.

The Company operates a "shipping off" service for personnel, using the Pilot boats or the survey launch "Compass". Pilot boats can carry up to 4 passengers and the "Compass" up to 6 passengers. (See Outer Harbour Tariff and River Port Tariff).

All passengers must wear lifejackets and follow the instructions of the Coxswain. Stores can be carried although space is limited. There is a weight limit of 20 Kg on individual items on the Pilot boats.

Navigation Marks

Various lights and marks are exhibited, particularly at the entrances to the Port. Details can be found in the Admiralty List of Lights and Signals and a summary may be found here.


Mariners should consult the Admiralty Sailing Directions, North Sea (West) Pilot NP54 for anchorage areas in the offshore area. During Easterly winds it is best to anchor near the off-lying banks in particular close west of the south part of Scroby Sands. Gorleston Roads, South-East of the entrance to the river provides good anchorage in depth 10 to 20 metres.

Masters should ensure they do not anchor in the approaches to the port entrances or within port limits and be aware of charted obstructions.

There are three prohibited anchorage areas within the river. Use of anchors within the River Port and Outer Harbour should only be for manoeuvring purposes or emergencies. Except with permission from the Harbour Master, anchors should not be left on the bottom after completion of a manoeuvre.


The Port has a small fleet of vessels comprised of three pilot cutters, a survey vessel and a river launch. The vessels carry out the routine conservancy function of the Port but are available for third party hire through the Harbour Office.

Local Byelaws

The Port has Byelaws which are available for inspection at any time and are also available here:


Most berths have fixed fenders but vessel and ship Masters should have ships fenders available for berthing/swinging and as additional protection when mooring alongside.

Great Yarmouth Port Authority

Great Yarmouth Port Company carries out the statutory duties on behalf of the Great Yarmouth Port Authority. For further information about GYPA see here.

River Port


Tidal flows in the River Port entrance are strong and vary in speed and direction according to the state of tide (see further information here), Tidal flows in the river area can be very swift particularly during spring tides when rates in excess of 3 knots can be achieved. Mariners should be aware that during certain wind and meteorological conditions tidal flow rates can reach 5/6 knots (these conditions usually occur during the winter months). Strong wind and heavy rainfall can affect not only the rate of the tide but also the rise, fall and the direction.

Designated Swinging Areas

Vessels may swing in the river and the recognised swinging areas, if available, are

Maximum 83 metres
Berth 3
Maximum 92 metres
Brush Bend
Maximum 93 metres

Vessels may be swung in other areas dependent upon vessel length, draught, other traffic movements and vessels on nearby berths. In certain conditions the bow or stern may have to be held against the quay during a swing. Contact must be established with Yarmouth Radio and permission obtained before swinging in the Port (see Marine Contacts). Masters are recommended to employ a Pilot for swinging.

Vessels Beams

The width of the river varies throughout its length and there are restrictions to vessel beams that may be accommodated in various parts of the River Port. Some general guidance on this may be found here.

Outer Harbour

Strong tides set across the Outer Harbour entrance and allowance must be made for this on approach and departure. Within the Outer Harbour basin tidal flows are weak and variable. Vessels will therefore experience varying tidal forces as the vessel passes between the breakwater heads.

During strong winds swells will build up in the Outer Harbour entrance.

Tidal flows within the Outer Harbour basin are weak and variable.


The Outer Harbour berths are protected with either cone or pneumatic fenders.

A brief summary of this information may be found here.


Great Yarmouth Tide Tables

See Port Depths section