Cook Islands recommendations on Navigation through the Entrances to the Baltic Sea

22 February 2019 |  C19010

According to SN.1/Circ.263, IMO recommends the use of pilotage from Skagen to Gedser and vice versa for ships with a draught of 11 meters or more following Route T on their voyage through the entrances to the Baltic Sea.

Ship Owners/ Managers/ Operators | Surveyors / Auditors

In general, IMO recommends following provisions while following the Route T.

When passing through the entrances to the Baltic Sea, ships should note that the maximum obtainable depth in most parts of Route T is 17 metres. However, in some areas the maximum obtainable depth is to some extent permanently reduced due to sand migration.

The effect of sea level variations caused by a combination of tide and metrological conditions together with unknown obstructions on the sea bottom and sand migration could decrease the depth with as much as 2 metres. Bearing these facts in mind, ships should:

  1. not pass the area unless they have a draught, with which it is safe to navigate, taking into account draught increasing effects such as squat effect and the effect of a course alteration, etc.;
  2. exhibit the signal prescribed in rule 28 of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea, 1972, as amended, in certain areas in the StorebÊlt (Great Belt), Hatter Rev, Vengeancegrund and in the narrow route east of Langeland, when constrained by their draught.
  3. Ships with a draught of 11 metres or more should, furthermore:
  • use for the passage the pilotage services locally established by the coastal States; and
  • be aware that anchoring may be necessary owing to the weather and sea conditions in relation to the size and draught of the ship and the sea level and, in this respect, take special account of the information available from the pilot and from radio navigation information services in the area.


Local Maritime Authorities, and thus Maritime Cook Islands, consider that pilotage services in that area improves the safety of navigation, and failing to use them would be considered as a hazardous situation.

Moreover, according to Directive 2009/16/EC on Port Sate Control, ships, which have not complied with the applicable version of the IMO Recommendation on navigation through the entrances to the Baltic Sea, may be subject to additional Port State Control Inspection regardless of the period since the last periodic inspection.

For the full Cook Islands Circular 189, click here.

Act now

Ship owners / Managers / Operators should take into consideration the importance to use the pilotage services while navigating the Route T in both directions. In addition to the shallow waters risk, that area is difficult to navigate due to the heavy traffic in the area of the Kadetrenden and due to the sand migration is constantly narrowing the manoeuvring space of deep-draught vessels.

Share this post:

Related Posts