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Dunbar Harbour Trust

Safety Review


As part of its commitment to the Port Marine Safety Code Dunbar Harbour Trust formally reviews its safety record at the first Board Meeting after the end of the year. The aim of this review is to identify any trends that may guide the Trust to find new ways to improve the safety of the harbour.

2020 Safety Review

The incident log for 2020 shows –

Ref No





Knives stolen from Sea Salt and mooring line cut



An intoxicated individual went into the water 



Technical failure outside the harbour



Speeding down Victoria Place

  • There were 4 incidents in the year (2019 -2)
  • There were no RIDDOR reportable incidents ( 2019 – 0

In addition to the above there were near misses reported in the following categories-

  1. Oil spillages which cause environmental damage to the harbour waters.
  2. Moorings breaking which risk damage to neighbouring yachts.
  3. Swimming in the harbour when boats are operating in the vicinity.
  4. Tombstoning – an activity that risks life and limb at the harbour entrance.

The greatest risks continue to centre round the behaviour of the young people of the town, mainly in the summer months. The number of incident reports does not reflect the occasions when children were tombstoning, jumping off the North Wall or swimming in a harbour used by commercial fishermen. 

The risks that are most likely to cause serious damage to persons or property:

  1. Falls from climbing
  2. Run down by vessel entering harbour while diving or swimming
  3. Trips on uneven surfaces  

Looking at the maritime hazards only these were ranked:

  1. Operational planning error – grounding (especially when moving from Victoria Harbour into the Broadhaven)
  2. Unplanned movement of berthed vessel resulting in collision or sinking. 
  3. Unexpected tidal conditions, including swell – collision with quayside (especially in the harbour entrance)

Achievements during 2020 included:

  1. Erection of a permanent gate at the North Wall to prevent people from walking along the north side during over-topping.
  2. Installation of the first part of the barrier to prevent the forklift truck falling into Victoria Harbour.
  3. Installation of AIS repeater
  4. Upgrading of leading lights
  5. Introduction of full CCTV coverage
  6. Introduction of a new reporting system
  7. A review of three risks at every Board Meeting

The set of measurable objectives with actions designed to mitigate identified risks were agreed as being –

  • Continued review of three risks at every Board Meeting ;
  • Fuller use of the CCTV system
  • More barriers around Victoria Harbour, particularly if trailers are going to turn along the North Wall
  • Safety signs improved
  • Speed bump installed to slow traffic going over the bridge


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