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Port Operations

The Dunbar Habour Management are responsible for the day-to-day management of the harbour and its operations. The Dunbar Harbour Management Committee is a sub-committee of the Harbour Trust and exists for the purpose of overseeing the day to day running of the harbour. The following is information concerning the operation of Dunbar Harbour:


Dunbar Harbour Trust

Safety Review


As part of its commitment to the Port Marine Safety Code Dunbar Harbour Trust formally reviews its safety record at the first Board Meeting after the end of the year. The aim of this review is to identify any trends that may guide the Trust to find new ways to improve the safety of the harbour.

2020 Safety Review

The incident log for 2020 shows –

Ref No





Knives stolen from Sea Salt and mooring line cut



An intoxicated individual went into the water 



Technical failure outside the harbour



Speeding down Victoria Place

  • There were 4 incidents in the year (2019 -2)
  • There were no RIDDOR reportable incidents ( 2019 – 0

In addition to the above there were near misses reported in the following categories-

  1. Oil spillages which cause environmental damage to the harbour waters.
  2. Moorings breaking which risk damage to neighbouring yachts.
  3. Swimming in the harbour when boats are operating in the vicinity.
  4. Tombstoning – an activity that risks life and limb at the harbour entrance.

The greatest risks continue to centre round the behaviour of the young people of the town, mainly in the summer months. The number of incident reports does not reflect the occasions when children were tombstoning, jumping off the North Wall or swimming in a harbour used by commercial fishermen. 

The risks that are most likely to cause serious damage to persons or property:

  1. Falls from climbing
  2. Run down by vessel entering harbour while diving or swimming
  3. Trips on uneven surfaces  

Looking at the maritime hazards only these were ranked:

  1. Operational planning error – grounding (especially when moving from Victoria Harbour into the Broadhaven)
  2. Unplanned movement of berthed vessel resulting in collision or sinking. 
  3. Unexpected tidal conditions, including swell – collision with quayside (especially in the harbour entrance)

Achievements during 2020 included:

  1. Erection of a permanent gate at the North Wall to prevent people from walking along the north side during over-topping.
  2. Installation of the first part of the barrier to prevent the forklift truck falling into Victoria Harbour.
  3. Installation of AIS repeater
  4. Upgrading of leading lights
  5. Introduction of full CCTV coverage
  6. Introduction of a new reporting system
  7. A review of three risks at every Board Meeting

The set of measurable objectives with actions designed to mitigate identified risks were agreed as being –

  • Continued review of three risks at every Board Meeting ;
  • Fuller use of the CCTV system
  • More barriers around Victoria Harbour, particularly if trailers are going to turn along the North Wall
  • Safety signs improved
  • Speed bump installed to slow traffic going over the bridge

The Directors of Dunbar Harbour Trust draw up a rolling three year harbour improvement plan after consulting with various key harbour user groups.

The consultation has been used to try to capture all of the users’ desired improvements, irrespective of whether these improvements are affordable or not. These user needs will evolve over time, and this document will evolve as new needs are identified.

The improvement plan identifies the funding opportunities that are currently available to the Harbour Trust. These opportunities also will change over time.

Fortunately theft is unusual in Dunbar Harbour but some attempts have been made recently to steal small tenders and outboard motors. What can you do to help prevent this?
The only market for stolen propellers, anchors and outboards is likely to be selling them on to the boating public. If you are offered any of the above which you suspect to be stolen please report this matter to the Police. Anyone buying good equipment at low prices is almost certainly encouraging marine theft.

Dunbar Harbour Trust
Closed Circuit Television Policy
The use of CCTV cameras by the Harbour Trust will be limited to the property of the Harbour Trust and stakeholder's property ie boats creels etc. Any peripheral coverage of adjacent buildings will be incidental and from such a distance as to not interfere with privacy.

Dunbar Harbour Trust pursues a zero tolerance approach to incidents when its staff, volunteers or harbour users are subjected to physical or verbal abuse.
The Trust owes a duty of care to its employees, volunteer workers and harbour users to provide a safe place of work. In particular the Harbour Master and his team are entitled to go about their business without fear of intimidation.
The Trust will use the full force of the law to vigorously pursue those who threaten or assault any member of staff, volunteer or harbour user within the harbour.

Dunbar Harbour Trust is working hard to improve the harbours. Its staff (and volunteers giving of their time) have the right to do this without experiencing abuse of any kind.


Dunbar Harbour follows the Port & Marine Safety Code which applies to all harbour authorities in the UK that have statutory powers. The code establishes the principle of a national standard for every aspect of port marine safety. Dunbar Harbour Trust follow this code and by doing so are promoting a policy of good management and governance of Dunbar Harbour.

The Harbour Trust is proud of its safety record.

You can download a copy of the Safety Management System in the Downloads section on the right.



Dunbar Harbour Trust is seeking applications for food outlets to be situated at the harbour.

The pitches would be approximately 16ft by 8ft and would need to be portable as the season would be 1st April to 31st October.

What are they?

The Harbours Act 1964, as amended by the Marine Navigation Act 2013, provides a mechanism by which the Secretary of State may by Order designate harbour authorities with a power to make harbour directions to better regulate shipping and improve safety within their harbour area. Such harbour authorities are called “designated harbour authorities”. (new sections 40A to 40D of the Harbours Act 1964, inserted by section 5 of the marine Navigation Act 2013). 

Owners of vessels who do not have a fuel agreement with Dunbar Harbour Trust should contact the Harbour Master if they require fuel from the harbour tank.

Oil distributors are permitted to sell fuel across the quayside provided that they comply with the following regulations:

1. Any company, agency or individual wishing to use Dunbar Harbour property for the transfer of petroleum products to and from vessels or other fuel containers must first apply and receive written permission from the Dunbar Harbour Trust. Any company, agency or individual who has not obtained written permission will not be allowed to undertake any transfer of petroleum products.

2. All approved companies, agencies or individuals supplying fuels and other oils in Dunbar Harbour, other than to the Harbour Trust’s bulk fuels tank, must account monthly to Dunbar Harbour Trust for the total amount of oils which have been delivered across the quay together with the payment of the Harbour Trust’s fuel charge.

3. Failure to comply with the above will result in the consent being withdrawn.

These guidelines apply to all lifting operations within Dunbar Harbour that require the use of mechanised hoists, winches or cranes.  Operations using a vessel’s own lifting equipment, tail gate lift platforms or the powered davit on the Victoria Harbour are excluded.  The Harbour Master has the authority to stop any activity in the harbour, including lifting operations, if that activity presents a risk to harbour users or the general public.

The narrow entrance to the Victoria Harbour can be tricky and is not advised in strong winds from the north to the east. Entry is only possible around 2.5 hours before or after high water for deeper draught vessels. The entrance dries at LW Springs as some unwary yachtsmen have found to their cost over the years! It is important that strangers consult an almanac before approaching, making sure that there is sufficient water for a safe entry.

The harbour master Quentin Dimmer and deputy harbour master, Denholm Horsburgh, work closely with the Board of Trustees to ensure the smooth running of all aspects of the harbour.
The Harbour Master (Quentin) can be reached on mobile telephone 07958 754858. Deputy Harbour Master (Denholm) can be reached by mobile telephone number 0758 346 3991. The harbour master can be emailed on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
They exercise control of all shipping within the harbour limits, and collect and account for all day to day revenues including visitor moorings, launchings, fuel oil, and use of water and electricity.
They also provide advice, control and berthing assistance to harbour users and advice to the public to ensure safe use of the harbour facilities and environs, and supervise the use of slipways and vehicle and trailer parking.

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