PART V | 11 Nautical Services


The Port operator is Abu Dhabi Petroleum Ports Operating Company (IRSHAD). Its services include pilotage, towage, berthing / unberthing of ships (including line handling), supervising and coordinating the loading/unloading of oil products on SPMs, providing dive and maintenance support, overseeing navigational aids, and providing offshore fire-fighting and offshore oil pollution combating. Website

11.2 VTIS

11.2.1 Communication

Ruwais VTIS operates 24/7 on VHF channel 21, with VHF Channel 16 to be used for emergencies only. The VTIS currently operates only as an information system. Further details may be obtained upon request from the PPA.

11.2.2 VTIS Limits

The VTIS will monitor the traffic from fairway buoy to inner harbour terminals, The VTIS limits are as per the VTIS external procedures.

11.2.3 VTIS Reporting Points

VTIS reporting points are as per VITS External procedures.


11.3.1 Compulsory pilotage

No ship, other than an exempted ship, shall be permitted to approach or leave the Port without the presence of a Pilot on board unless otherwise ordered by the Harbour Master of the relevant Port.

Following vessels are considered as exempted vessels and shall not be required to carry a Pilot or a Pilotage Exemption Certificate:

  • Vessels of the U. A. E. Defence Forces.
  • Vessels belonging to CICPA.
  • Dredgers, survey, project Vessels, tugs, barges and special ancillary non-cargo Boat on contract to the Petroleum Port Authority or OPCO.
  • Agent Boats.
  • Pleasure crafts.

In all above-mentioned cases however the Harbour Master may enforce the use of a Pilot in the pursuit of securing safety, in which case appropriate tariff for the availed Marine Service shall apply. Passenger Vessels and General cargo vessels

Passenger Vessels and General cargo vessels are required to employ a pilot when anchoring within Port Limits.

11.3.2 Pilots as Representatives of PPA

The Pilots are the designated representatives of the PPA and, as such, are responsible to the PPA for the observance and implementation of standing instructions for marine operations.

11.3.3 Master’s and Pilot’s Responsibility

The Pilot will undertake the Pilotage, berthing and un-berthing of the vessel. However, the Master of the vessel shall remain solely responsible on behalf of the owners for the safe navigation of the vessel at all times.

11.3.4 Master / Pilot Information Exchange

The Master must discuss the ship’s characteristics with the pilot upon boarding. A duly completed pilot card shall be handed to the pilot as part of this process. The pilot shall inform / explain to the master the weather conditions, berthing arrangements, traffic situation, his navigational intentions, and use of tugs. All such information shall be recorded and agreement signed for by the Master.

11.3.5 Pilot Boarding / Disembarking area

Pilot will board and disembark at the main Ghasha pilot station as delineated on British Admiralty chart No. 3179,3779 and 3780, one mile west of Ghasha Racon in Position Lat. 24° 25.9’ N, Long. 052° 33.4’ E.

An alternate pilot station is located in position Lat. 24° 26.1’ N, Long. 052° 42.4’ E. in the vicinity of buoy EG3. This is for vessels utilizing the East Ghasha Channel either inbound or outbound.

11.3.6 Pilot ladders / Combination Ladders

Pilot ladders / Combination Ladders to be lowered to about 1.5 m above water for pilot embarkation / disembarkation or as deemed necessary by the Pilot depending on the weather conditions and other influencing factors.

11.3.7 Master's Duty -embarking/disembarking a Pilot Safe embarkation and disembarkation of the pilot.

A master of any ship navigating in the port or approaches, shall afford such suitable “weather lee” and speed reductions as dictated by the practice of good seamanship in order to provide a safe embarkation or disembarkation operation. Embarkation and Disembarkation of Pilot shall be supervised by a responsible officer. Supervision of pilot ladders

The rigging of pilot ladders for the embarkation and disembarkation of pilots shall be supervised by a responsible ship’s officer and shall be so affected that the ladder is well clear of any overboard discharge and that each step of the ladder rests firmly against the side of the ship. Pilot ladder

A clean and efficient pilot ladder fitted with spreaders and manropes shall be made available for the pilot to embark or disembark. At night the ladder shall be illuminated with an efficient and safe light. The Pilot ladder must confirm to SOLAS and International Maritime Pilots Association (IMPA) specifications. Ladders must be duly rigged and secured as required by IMPA.

Microsoft Word - 1045.doc ( & WHEELHOUSE POSTER - Pilotladder Safety Accommodation ladder and pilot ladder (combination)

Whenever, as in the case of large vessels, the height of the deck above the water exceeds 30 ft. (9.0 meters) the accommodation ladder shall also be used in conjunction with the pilot ladder, with the accommodation ladder lowered to about 22 ft. (7.0 meters) above the water with the pilot ladder immediately adjacent to the bottom platform of the accommodation ladder.

11.3.8 Pilotage Exemption

A Pilotage exemption certificate may be granted to Masters of regular trading vessels of less than 3,000 N.R.T after fulfilling the necessary requirements as stipulated & amended from time to time by PPA.

11.3.9 Usage of East Ghasha / North / Yabr Channels by shallow drafted / Pilot exempted vessels

Masters of exempted ships of suitable draft should use the North Channel and East Ghasha Channel / Yabr Channels when entering or leaving the port limits, between buoys EG3 / EG4. Bear in mind that traffic in the Ruwais channel has precedence over traffic in the East Ghasha Channel.

Ruwais VTIS must be informed in advance of such channel usage.

11.3.10 Cargo Tank Oxygen content check - ADNOC Onshore bound vessels

For tankers inbound to the ADNOC Onshore JD SPMs, the pilot should check (at random) the O2 content within the cargo tanks, before transiting the channel. This information shall be transmitted to ADNOC Onshore /JD terminal for record.

11.4 TUGS

Azimuth Stern Drive (ASD)/Twin screw tugs (65-88 tones bollard pull) are used for both berthing and un-berthing of vessels. The number of tugs to be used is as per the PPA tug usage requirements. All the port tugs are fitted with foam / water monitors and dispersant spray booms.

Tow Back Boats (TBBs) are also available (23 tonnes bollard pull). These are largely utilized to ensure vessels made fast at the ADNOC Onshore SBMs do not ride up to the buoys but may also be utilized in mooring/unmooring of smaller sized vessels.


11.5.1 Minimum Requirements

Vessels should have a minimum of eight mooring lines available at each end of the vessel. General mooring patterns used are:

Forward 3 2 2
Aft 3 2 2
Forward 3 3 2
Aft 3 3 2

In the event of adverse weather conditions at times, or if, in the opinion of the Harbour Master, the situation warrants, the vessel will provide extra adequate moorings in addition to those normally required in order to safeguard the vessel and installation.

11.5.2 Mixed Moorings

Mixed moorings on the same bollard are not acceptable.

11.5.3 Automatic tension winches

Once moored, ships fitted with automatic tension winches shall not use such winches in the automatic mode.

11.5.4 Use of winch warping drums

Mooring ropes must not be left on the warping drum post being made fast.

11.5.5 Use of Synthetic moorings

Synthetic moorings have too much elasticity and allow the vessel to range, or drift away from the berth during periods of adverse weather, therefore moorings should preferably be all steel wires or equivalent.

Some vessels may use synthetic moorings for head or stern lines. However, breast and spring moorings are preferred to be steel wires or equivalent. All vessels other than tankers shall use Mooring equipment as per their design.


No such services exist.