Shropshire Council

River Severn

River Severn byelaws 1974

River Severn

Made under Section 55 of the Shrewsbury Corporation Act 1909. These byelaws may be cited as The Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council River Severn Byelaws 1974 and they shall come into effect twenty-one days from the date of their confirmation.

Interpretation

1. Throughout these byelaws:

  • "Bank" means any bank wall or embankment adjoining or confining or constructed for the purposes of or in connection with any watercourse and includes all land between the bank and low water mark.
  • "The Corporation" means the Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council.
  • "House-Boat" means any pleasure boat erection or structure on or in the River which is not a launch and which is decked or structurally covered in and which is or is capable of being used as a place of habitation (whether by day and night or the one or the other) or as a place for entertainment or refreshment or of witnessing regattas or other events or as club premises or as offices or as a kitchen pantry or store place.
  • "Launch" means any vessel propelled by mechanical power.
  • "Master" when used in relation to any vessel means any person whether the owner master or other person lawfully or wrongfully having or taking command charge or management of the vessel for the time being.
  • "Pleasure-boat" means any ship launch house-boat randan wherry skiff dinghy shallop punt canoe or yacht whatsoever however propelled or navigated not being used solely for the carriage of goods.
  • "Private launch" means any private pleasure boat propelled by mechanical power.
  • "The River" includes so much of the River Severn as lies within the boundaries of the former Borough of Shrewsbury as it existed on 31st March 1974.
  • "Prolonged blast" means a blast of from four to six seconds' duration.
  • "Self-driven pleasure boat" means a pleasure boat for hire which is designed to carry not more than four persons, is propelled by mechanical power and used or intended to be used under the control of the hirer or other person not being the proprietor or his agent or servant.
  • "Vessel" means any ship lighter keel barge launch house-boat pleasure or other boat randan wherry skiff dinghy shallop punt canoe yacht raft float of timber or craft whatsoever however propelled or navigated.
  • "The Weir" means the dam or weir across the River Severn 260 yards (237.7 metres) down river from Castle Bridge commencing on the north side of the river in the parish of St. Mary and terminating on the south side in the parish of Holy Cross and St. Giles and being in length 180 feet or thereabouts but for the purpose of these Byelaws only "The Weir" shall not include the fish pass and boat roller pass therein.

2. All traffic on the River and the disposition thereon of all vessels whether in motion or moored or stationary shall at all times be subject to the direction of the duly appointed officers and servants of the Corporation in the exercise of their functions in enforcing these Byelaws.

The regulation of mooring places and landing stages

3. The master of a vessel shall not:

(a) while such vessel may occupy any mooring place, wilfully or improperly render insecure the mooring of any other vessel occupying such place.

(b) moor the vessel in such position or in such a manner at a mooring place as to cause risk of injury to any other vessel or obstruction to the safe and convenient passage or mooring of any other vessel or to the safe and convenient embarkation or disembarkation of persons therein or therefrom. 

(c) allow the engine of a launch or pleasure boat attached to a mooring place to work so that injury or dame is caused to such mooring place.

(d) moor or place any vessel to or upon the bank of the River in such a manner by such method as to cause injury to such bank.

4. A person shall not allow any vessel to remain moored anchored stationary or berthed but unused in the River or against the banks thereof for any period longer than one week unless otherwise authorised in writing by the Corporation.

5. A person shall notwithstanding any consent given by or to be inferred from any other Byelaw made by the Corporation anchor moor berth or otherwise wilfully stop or leave unattended any vessel in such a position as to impede the clear and free passage of any other vessel or otherwise to obstruct the navigation of the River.

6. All moored vessels shall be moored parallel to the bank and not across the stream.

7. No vessel on the River shall be left adrift nor negligently moored so as to get adrift or to be in danger of getting adrift; and no person other than duly appointed officers or servants of the Corporation shall unmoor any vessel except by the order or authority of the owner or master of such vessel.

Navigation

8. (a) The master of a launch while the same is in motion or about to set in motion shall, during the period from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, cause to be carried and exhibited on such launch, in the manner hereinafter indicated the following lights viz.

(i) on or before the foremast or if there be not foremast on the funnel, or on a staff at the bow, and in any case at a height above the hull of the launch of not less than three feet, a fixed bright white light so constructed as to shown an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of not less than 20 points of the compass (225 degrees) and so fixed as to throw the light not less than 10 points (112½ degrees) on each side of the launch, viz. from right ahead to not less than 2 points (22½ degrees) abaft the beam on either side.

(ii) On the starboard side, a fixed bright green light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of not less than 10 points of the compass (112½ degrees) and so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to not less than 2 points (22½ degrees) abaft the beam on the starboard side;

(iii) On the port side, a fixed bright red light so constructed as to show an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of not less than 10 points of the compass (112½ degrees) and so fixed as to throw the light from right ahead to not less than 2 points (22½ degrees) abaft the beam on the port side;

(b)  He shall cause the said green and red side lights, mentioned in subparagraphs (ii) and (iii) of paragraph (a) above to be so screened as to prevent those lights being seen across the bow.

(c)  He shall cause each of such lights to be of such a character as to be visible on a dark night in a clear atmosphere at a distance of at least one quarter of a mile.

9. Except when necessary in connection with the navigation of a vessel or in the interests of safety or in connection with the instruction of persons in the use of vessels on the river a megaphone loudspeaker gramophone bell horn gong whistle or other noise producing instrument shall not be used on a vessel.

10. The master of a launch, under way during fog, shall give audible notice of the approach of the launch by sounding at intervals of one minute a prolonged blast on a horn and shall proceed at a safe speed having regard to existing circumstances and conditions.

11. The master of a vessel shall at all times observe the rule of the river; that is to say, he shall while proceeding upstream or downstream keep the vessel to the right hand side of the River in the direction of which the vessel is going, and shall, when overtaking another vessel, pass it on the outside or riverside of it, and not between it and the bank.

12. The master of a vessel shall, while the vessel is on the River and is not moored or at anchor, keep or cause to be kept a proper and efficient lookout.

13. (a) The master of a launch shall not cause or suffer such launch to travel on any portion of the River at a greater rate of speed than eight miles an hour over the ground; he shall not cause or suffer such launch to travel on any portion of the River at a speed which shall be dangerous to the safe and convenient navigation of the River regard being had to all the circumstances of the case including the amount of traffic which is at the time on the River in the vicinity of the launch; provided that no person shall be convicted of an offence under this byelaw upon proof by him that the speed at which he navigated the launch was reasonably necessary having regard to the fact that he was assisting or offering to assist in emergency arising from illness, accidents, collision, fire, or other circumstances which might reasonably be expected to involve danger to persons or property or that the launch was used for a purpose and on an occasion for which the Corporation have, subject to any condition or conditions which they shall think fit to impose, previously given their consent in writing;

13. (b) The master of a launch shall not on the River participate or suffer or permit his launch to participate in racing against other launches.

13. (c) The master of a launch shall not on the River participate, or suffer or permit his launch to participate in towing persons engaged in water skiing.

14. The master of a vessel shall not cause or suffer such vessel to be driven recklessly or negligently or in any manner as may be likely to cause danger to life or damage or injury or inconvenience to moorings, craft or the banks of the river or other property, person or things.

15. The master of a private launch shall not take or have in tow at the same time more than one vessel except that in addition to such vessel he may take or have in tow at the same time a vessel which may have been incapacitated through breakdown, collision or other accident.

16. The master of a launch plying for hire or of a self-driven pleasure boat shall not take or have in tow any vessel except that he may take or have in tow a vessel which may have been incapacitated through breakdown, collision or other accident.

17. Special care and caution shall be used in navigating vessels when passing vessels of all kinds especially those of the smaller classes and such as are employed in dredging or removing sunken vessels or other obstructions.

Miscellaneous

18. (a) The master of a vessel being on the River on the occasion of any boat race, regatta, public procession or any other special occasion shall not pass or station such vessel thereon so as to obstruct the boat race, regatta, or public procession or endanger the safety of persons assembled on the River or prevent the maintenance of order thereon.

18. (b)  No vessel shall except by means of a roller pass, pass over or attempt to pass over the weir 260 yards (237.7 metres) down river from the Castle Bridge and across the River provided that this prohibition shall not apply to canoes but the Corporation shall not be liable for any accident or damage however occasioned to any person or canoe which shall pass over or attempt to pass over the weir.  The Corporation shall not be liable for any accident or damage however occasioned to any person or vessel passing down river beyond any safety warning notices erected by the Corporation up river from the weir except whilst using the roller pass in an approved manner.

19. (a) The master of every vessel on the River fitted with or propelled by an internal combustion engine shall cause to be connected to the exhaust of such engine, a silencer of such size and construction and so securely and properly fitted as to prevent a nuisance or annoyance arising from the noise of the exhaust therefrom.

19. (b) The master of every vessel on the River fitted with electrical equipment likely to cause interference with the reception of radio and television transmissions shall cause such equipment to be fitted with a device which effectively suppresses such interference.

20. The master of a launch shall cause it to be provided with an efficient fire extinguishing apparatus which shall be maintained in good condition and in a convenient and accessible position and shall comply with the Corporation's requirements regarding precautions against fire and explosion.

21. No person shall break deface adjust remove conceal cover or otherwise tamper with any watermark set up by the Corporation for the purpose of showing the height or depth of water in the River.

22. (a) When two sailing vessels are approaching one another, so as to involve risk of collision, one of them shall keep out of the way of the other as follows:-
(i) When each has the wind on a different side, the vessel which has the wind on the port side shall keep out of the way of the other 
(ii) When both have the wind on the same side, the vessel which is to windward shall keep out of the way of the vessel which is to leeward

22. (b) For the purpose of this rule the windward side shall be deemed to be the side opposite to that on which the main sail is carried or in the case of a square-rigged vessel the side opposite to that on which the largest fore-and-aft sail is carried.

23. When a launch or a vessel being rowed or propelled by paddle and a sailing vessel are proceeding in such directions as to involve risk of collision the launch or vessel being rowed or propelled by paddle shall keep out of the way of the sailing vessel provided that every vessel overtaking any other vessel shall keep out of the way of the vessel overtaken and provided that all vessels not engaged in fishing shall when under way keep of out of the way of vessels engaged in fishing except that no vessel engaged in fishing shall have the right to obstruct a fairway used by vessels other than fishing vessels. 

24. These Byelaws shall not apply to any act done by the Severn/Trent Water Authority in exercise of any statutory or other duty or in the lawful exercise of any power and nothing in these Byelaws shall be deemed to exclude or over-ride any Byelaw of the Severn/Trent Water Authority.

Penalties

25. Every person who shall offend against any of these Byelaws shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding Twenty pounds and in the case of continuing offence to a further fine not exceeding Two Pounds for each day during which the offence continues after conviction therefor.

26. From and after the date on which these Byelaws shall come into operation the Byelaws with respect to the rate of speed of boats on the River which were made by the former Shrewsbury Borough Council on 4th May 19933 and 21st June 1934 and confirmed by the Minister of Transport on, respectively 1st June 1933 and 25th June 1934 shall be and are hereby repealed.