Questions we are frequently asked

Trinity House shall be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement of the equipment in the event of loss or damage. A buoy out of position would also be rectified by Trinity House with no charge passed to the hirer. We will deal with any damage resulting from weather or third party collision.

Any damage caused by customer activities in situations other than those outlined above.

The movement and mooring adjustments of a buoy where the assigned position has to be moved for navigation reasons is excluded from the scope – e.g. if the customer wished to move the buoy to facilitate cable laying or surveying, this will incur an additional cost.

The decision as to whether to sail lies with the Captain of the vessel. We always attempt to tie in planned maintenance whilst working in the area on statutory business and therefore position ourselves so as we can easily return when weather abates.

Quantities of chain and mooring components are held on board each vessel to facilitate mooring changes when deemed necessary. Non-standard chain can be ordered on behalf of customers and held in stock for annual inspections.

Since a change in the Merchant Shipping Act in 1997, we have been able to undertake work on behalf of third parties, such that we are now a major player in all aspects of marine related work and activities. Our customer base includes Renewable Energy Providers, Harbour Authorities, Water Companies, Electricity Suppliers, and Government Departments and Agencies.

Our experience and knowledge is an asset that is particularly attractive to organisations for which the maintenance of aids to navigation is not part of their core business. Many companies and organisations are required to provide and maintain aids to navigation to mark obstructions in the sea, rivers, harbours and estuaries that are an occupational by-product e.g. sewer outfalls, cables, jetties, oil and gas rigs. We are now seeing the advent of offshore wind farms as part of the renewable energy business. In all instances Trinity House has a proven track record of providing quality, through-life, cost-effective solutions for its customers

Risk is an acknowledged factor in business. In Trinity House, as the Quality Certifications above demonstrate, we believe in the pro-active management and curtailment of risk. However, risk can never be eliminated and in these days of increasing litigation, Trinity House seeks to offset the risk to its continuation in business through a comprehensive insurance portfolio that contains some £200 Million of Public Liability Insurance.

All aids to navigation in UK Waters are required to meet Availability Standards determined by the Department of Transport as part of the Port Marine Safety Code. These standards, as a minimum, necessitate an Availability Level of 97%. They are necessary to safeguard navigation by preventing vessels of all classes from colliding with the obstructions thus preventing damage to both the vessel and the obstruction. This requires high levels of knowledge and planning to ensure deployment of equipment appropriate for the conditions. The requirement to mark the obstruction is usually a binding condition contained in an official consent e.g. one issued under the provisions of the Coast Protection Act.

The building in of the appropriate quality levels extends through-life cost effectiveness and helps to ensure that the aid to navigation is capable of performing at the right level. This in turn reduces maintenance costs and secures the aid in position. In these days of increased litigation, the failure of an aid to navigation could lead to expensive and lengthy legal repercussions and loss of reputation.

Trinity House offers its customers:

  • A one-stop option for all aids to navigation and marine related tasks
  • A quality driven product that ensures fitness for purpose
  • A product that addresses the requirements of protection and preservation of the environment
  • ​Cost-effective solutions demonstrating through-life efficiencies and savings
  • A 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week service
  • ​Solutions that meet the requirements of the Port Marine Safety Code
  • Stress reducing contracts that enable customers to concentrate on their core business
  • The knowledge that we provide continuity of service and through life efficiencies

We have found through our experience that by adopting a regime of regular planned maintenance this significantly increases the reliability of aids to navigation. To this end we carry out annual visits to conduct planned preventative maintenance by experienced multi-skilled technicians as follows:

  1. The aid to navigation will be checked to ensure it is exhibiting its prescribed character
  2. The position of the aid will be confirmed and any buoy found out of position will be re-established in its correct location
  3. Buoys will be lifted, cleaned and water-jetted to clear marine growth
  4. Beacons will be scraped and painted provided that adequate and safe access with the necessary equipment can be secured
  5. Any lighting and ancillary equipment will be checked and prepared for ongoing operation
  6. Trinity House would endeavour to reutilise the Customer’s moorings as appropriate. However, moorings would be changed at the Master’s discretion to extend the life of the asset at sea until the next maintenance visit thereby minimising break adrift situations
  7. Where Aids to Navigation equipment is found to be defective, or approaching a state where ongoing effectiveness cannot be reasonably assured then TH will propose and cost a course of remedial action for consideration by the customer
  8. ​An annual report on the condition of each aid to navigation will be submitted to customer

The Vessel’s Master will be qualified to the following:

  1. Master Mariner Certificate of Competency, no Limitations (II/2)
  2. SVS Commanders Pilotage Certificate
  3. Experience serving as Chief Officer
  4. Previous experience in ship handling during service operations and pilotage
  5. A full understanding of the implication of the ISM/ISPS Codes
  6. A current ENG 1 Medical Certificate

We make a Common Marine Inspection Document (CMID) available to our customers and meet the cost of the initial CMID and its annual renewal. In the event that our customers require an additional CMID or any other audit or inspection, the cost of any additional inspections shall be payable by the customer. In addition, customers may incur an additional charge for the time that the vessel is required to be available for the additional inspections.

24-hour operations will be considered for THV Patricia and THV Galatea however, THV Alert does not have sufficient accommodation to support the additional crew.

We have strategic bases at Harwich in Essex, St Just in Cornwall and Swansea, South Wales as well as a Head Office in London.

The Harwich and Swansea bases encompass berths for our vessels; Swansea is restricted access by lock, however access can be gained daily. Alongside the dock area is the buoy refurbishment facility. Activities include high-pressure water jetting, grit blasting and painting, assembly, LED lantern testing, battery conditioning and ferrous and non-ferrous welding by qualified welders. Lifting is available from our on-site crane and forklift.

Swansea and Harwich sites include supplies warehouses where a stock of buoys, moorings and other required consumables are held.

We use buoy preparation methods and paint systems, which can prolong the buoys life at sea for 6 to 7 years.

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