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Press Release From Independent Source

Anchoring prohibited in narrow channels and fairways

Mariners are being reminded that anchoring is prohibited in narrow channels and fairways leading into a port or marina. Photo: Ronnielle Frazer/GIS)
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI - Mariners are being reminded that anchoring is prohibited in narrow channels and fairways leading into a port or marina.

Acting Director for the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry and Receiver of Wrecks, Captain Raman Bala said practising legal anchoring promotes the safety of navigation, saving of lives, preventing collisions and speeds up entry and egress from ports.

He said, “The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry recognises that the buoys to the Manuel Reef channel have been removed by hurricanes but this does not permit obstructing the channel and its approaches. We have noticed that in the approaches to Manuel Reef Marina, numerous vessels are anchored in the fairway. This constricts the channel and makes it unsafe for navigation.”

Captain Bala added, “We are asking that all boat owners, operators, charterers, shipping agents, masters, officers and crew members, inspectors, surveyors and managers of bareboat charter vessels and crewed yachts be mindful of this practice and ensure that they are following the Merchant Shipping laws.”

Contravention of these requirements is an offence under the Merchant Shipping laws and can lead to serious penalties when enforced by the Marine Police.

Additionally, boatmasters are also being reminded to always proceed at a safe speed, maintain a proper look-out and obey the Collision Regulations.

Persons can read more on the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry’s safety alert notice to mariners, by visiting the registry’s page on, or use the following direct link -

1 Response to “Anchoring prohibited in narrow channels and fairways”

  • biker (28/05/2018, 19:51) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I'm confused by this VISR/government warning. Manuel Reef Marina(MRM) is a private marina in Sea Cows Bay. If their private channel marker buoys were destroyed last year then MRM should replace them ASAP to mark the channel to their marina. If MRM does not replace their private channel marker buoys then it is no longer a channel and any vessel can anchor anywhere in Sea Cows Bay. Why is VISR involved at all? It seems like a poor business decision by MRM not to replace their channel marker buoys nearly 9 months after Irma.

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