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PMSC Marine Safety Plan 2021 – 2023

Port Marine Safety Code

Marine Safety Plan

2021 – 2023


Larne Harbour Limited (LHL), as the Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA) for the Port of Larne, has responsibility to ensure a safe environment for the general public and users of the port and other facilities under their jurisdiction at which ships can obtain shelter or ship and unship goods or passengers.

LHL is committed to complying with the Port Marine Safety Code (PMSC) which lays down minimum standards of safety applicable to all harbours and similar establishments.

As part of its compliance with the requirements of the PMSC, the LHL publishes the following Marine Safety Plan (MSP) for the conduct of marine operations in the Port for the period 2021-2023.


Marine Policies

LHL has published several Key Marine Policies in support of the management and regulation of marine operations in the statutory harbour area. These strategic policies are referenced within the Port’s Marine Safety Management System (MSMS) and are approved by the LHL Board, which is the ‘Duty Holder’ as defined within the PMSC.

The company’s Marine Navigational Safety Policy is a principal component of the port’s MSMS. It describes both the safety management arrangements for maritime operations that are the responsibility of the SHA, as well as it’s commitment to discharge their statutory and general responsibilities for the safety of navigation within the Port.

This MSP has been developed to describe how the SHA intends to fulfil those responsibilities listed in the MSN Policy, as well as identifying the associated Key Performance Objectives.

  1. Marine Procedures

The MSMS also refers to or explains in more detail a comprehensive list of operational procedures, processes and manuals that have been developed by and maintained by the Harbour Master to manage marine safety within port limits. These include:

  • Traffic management;
  • Operational Guidelines;
  • Pilotage;
  • Conservancy;
  • Marine Services.

In line with current policy, all the key components of the MSMS – whether manuals  and operational procedures are reviewed in 2-year cycles.


  1. The Management of Marine Operations

This Marine Safety Plan commits LHL to undertaking the management and regulation of marine operations, within the scope of its powers and authority, in a way that safeguards the port, users of the port, including members of the public, and the environment.

LHL will undertake its role and responsibilities to ensure that, whenever possible, it provides efficient and effective services and the regulation of shipping and other vessels in support of all activities in the harbour; commercial vessel movements and to facilitate the safe and prompt transit of vessels through the port.

In ensuring the continued provision of services, especially during times of disruption, LHL will always keep the safety of its personnel, harbour users and vessels as a priority. At times this may mean that services and therefore vessel movements or activities are subject to delay. However, the safety of life and of navigation remains is paramount.

LHL has powers to issue General and Special Directions for the purposes of promoting or securing conditions conducive to the ease, convenience or safety of navigation in the port and to regulate and manage marine safety within it’s port limits.

  1. Established Management Activities

A number of key functions underpin the operation and maintenance of the port’s MSMS. In addition to the core services provided by the Harbour Master’s department, the following processes ensure the maintenance of an effective regime and support compliance with the requirements of the PMSC:

  • Regular internal team meetings and/or communication with Marine Officers and Licensed Pilots;
  • Dedicated risk assessments of existing marine operations and services – updated as required;
  • The proactive and reactive review of identified hazards to navigation and the associated risk control measures that mitigate those risks to an acceptable (As Low As Reasonably Practicable) level;
  • The investigation of all reported navigational incidents and the maintenance of a comprehensive incident management system;
  • Regular Marine Stakeholders Safety Meetings involving, as necessary, relevant practitioners, operators, harbour users and interested parties to, for example, review navigational incidents, undertake ad-hoc risk assessments and to develop or review relevant marine guidance and procedures;
  • Regular external audits and reviews of the navigational MSMS, its functions and procedures;
  • Comprehensive training and development for the marine department’s staff; and
  • The maintenance and exercising of the Port’s marine emergency response procedures, including oil spill management.


  1. Performance Objectives

As statutory harbour authority, LHL seeks to continuously improve the Duty Holder’s compliance with the requirements of the PMSC, and reduce all foreseeable risks associated with harbour operations to the lowest practical level (ALARP).

The detailed plans for PMSC compliance are contained within the MSMS.

The MSP Objectives listed in the attached Compliance Matrix hereafter outline the process used to monitor ongoing compliance and prompt continuous improvement towards best practice in marine operations. The improvement plan will be cyclical in nature and follow the sequence below.


  1. Additional and specific objectives for 2023

Further to 2022 audits of the port’s PMSC compliance, the following observations or opportunities for improvement were identified:

  1. Byelaws to be assessed to determine their relevance, revoking if appropriate and feasible.
  2. Review and improve licensing of marine services providers and their boats, to include the port’s own work-craft within inspections.
  3. Review and improve training and certification requirements of marine service contractors’ personnel, including the requirements within the port’s training matrix and Marine Services Manual
  4. Whilst the MSMS was reviewed to take account of the findings of the PMSC external audit (May 22), and then reissued in August 22, it was recommended that the port modernises the current MSMS in a newer more usable format.


See below the Ports’ full Marine Safety Plan for this current 3 year period, displaying the port’s performance against the plan’s objectives:

LHL Marine Safety Plan – 2021 to 2023 at Jan 23