The Hydrography Group of the Liepaja SEZ Authority is preparing for the winter navigation season and is taking all the necessary actions to survey and, if required, to prepare navigation signs on the coast and in the water area. In total, there are 82 objects under the control of the Hydrography Group of the Liepaja SEZ Administration, 51 of which are located in the water area.
According to the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers, winter navigation in all Latvian ports begins on December 15 and ends on April 15. The winter navigation means that shipowners are obliged to prepare their ships for safe navigation in negative air temperatures during the winter navigation period. Equipment for de-icing the ship's hull must be provided on board of each vessel. The decision to start winter navigation in the Port of Liepaja is made by the Harbor Master, based on the real situation. It is important to prepare for the winter season in time.
The placement of navigation marks is determined by the International Regulations, which are a uniform system in all ports, so that every ship can enter and leave the port safely. "Buoys are like road signs on the road, except that but they regulate not the car traffic, but safe navigation of the ships", emphasizes Dainis Enģelis, Head of the Hydrography Group.
The port of Liepāja was historically built with three external gates, which is a significant advantage compared to other ports. Depending on weather conditions, the ships may use the most appropriate gate.
There are 81 navigation marks in the outer and inner roads of the Port. The farthest from them is Alfa, or reception buoy, which is located 9 km from the gates of the Port. It is a navigation sign, from where the Master of the ship starts communication with the Harbor Master’s office and receives further instructions - to take an anchorage, wait for the pilot or any other due instructions.
As stated by Dainis Enģelis, Head of the Hydrography Group, the configuration of the Port is complex, however safe for navigation in different weather conditions. "Our task is to ensure that all navigation signs are in their place and work according to their functionality on a daily basis."