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Approaches

Coastguard & Navigation

Please find below information on approaches and recommended navigational transits to Guernsey through the Little Russel. There is also a link to Digimaps AIS to locate and identify vessels around the Channel Islands.

These Charts should be used as guidance only and not be used for navigation. They are no substitute for the latest editions of British Admiralty and Imray Charts.

pdf icon Guernsey Approaches (North) [647kb]
pdf icon Little Russel Transit & Approaches [492kb]
pdf icon St Peter Port Approaches [579kb]

We recommend you keep a listening watch on VHF Ch.12

AIS - Marine Traffic

Please find below information on navigational awareness through "Lower Heads" South Cardinal Buoy, "Platte Fougere" and "Fourquies" North Cardinal Buoy.

"Lower Heads" South Cardinal Buoy

Cardinal marks indicate the direction of safety as a cardinal (compass) direction (north, east, south or west) relative to the mark. Lower Heads buoy indicates safe water is south of the buoy (as indicated by two downward pointing black arrows) and the danger lies to the north. It's position can be seen on the illustration. 

The Lower Heads Buoy is one of four buoys purchased over twenty years ago from Trinity House. Powered by acetylene gas, they were deemed no longer fit for purpose, but after the Guernsey Harbours maintenance team converted them to solar power they were given a new lease of life.

pdf icon "Lower Heads" South Cardinal Buoy [212kb]

"Platte Fougere"

Platte Fougere marks the northern end of the Little Russel, being the main approach to both St Peter Port and St Sampsons harbours (from that direction). It is one of the most significant lights within Guernsey's responsibility.

It is a red and white sectored light; the red sector covering the Brayes rocks. The current structure was put into service in 1910. It had some minor updates to its main and standby lights in 2011.

Platte Fougere lighthouse is subject to an Order in Council where Trinity House (The General Lighthouse Authority (GLA) for England, Wales, Channel Islands and Gibraltar) contributes to its upkeep as it is considered used partly for general navigation (passing shipping) and partly for coastal. The upkeep of Platte Fougere remains the responsibility of Guernsey.

Trinity House, as the GLA, is responsible for those navigational aids which can be considered as used for general navigation in the region and whose range extends beyond our coastal areas.

These aids are listed as: Les Hanois Lighthouse, Casquettes Lighthouse, Point Robert Lighthouse - Sark, Alderney Lighthouse and Blanchard Buoy.

Guernsey, as the Local Lighthouse Authority is responsible for all aids within the coastal areas.

(Please note, the Platte Fougere foghorn is currently out of action due to maintenance).

pdf icon "Platte Fougere" [249kb]

"Fourquies" North Cardinal Buoy

Cardinal marks indicate the direction of safety as a cardinal (compass) direction (North, East, South or West) relative to the mark.

The "Fourquies" North cardinal is positioned to the North of the Fourquies reef and indicates to mariners that the danger lies to the South of the buoy. Due to the relatively deep water where the buoy is positioned, mariners should exercise caution in the area as the buoy will move in the tidal stream, particularly at low water. Its position can be seen on the illustration.

The Fourquies Buoy is one of four buoys purchased over twenty years ago from Trinity House. Powered by acetylene gas, they were deemed no longer fit for purpose, but after the Guernsey Harbours maintenance team converted them to solar power they were given a new lease of life.

pdf icon "Fourquies" North Cardinal Buoy [244kb]