River Humber Navigation and Pilotage


Strong tidal streams which can cause very steep, choppy seas in wind against tide situations.  Many large commercial vessels arriving and departing at all times.  Many sandbanks and the channel, particularly above Hull, changes frequently.  ABP Charts are recommended.


Note the Traffic Separation Scheme taking up most of the navigable water in the approaches to Spurn Head.  Sailing craft are recommended to use their engines in this area.  From the north head towards Spurn Head Light Float, keeping clear of the Outer Binks, and join the TSS.  From the south, small craft not wishing to use the TSS can pass seaward of the Donna Nook Firing Range and enter the Humber south of the TSS.


Channels in the Humber Estuary are well marked with lit buoys.  From the north make for Binks No.3A and enter the estuary south of Spurn Head just outside Bull Channel, keeping well clear of large commercial vessels.  From the south navigate just south of the Haile Channel.


VTS Humber operate on VHF Channel 14 east of Clee Ness Light Float and VHF Channel 12 to the west of Clee Ness.  Contact VTS Humber on VHF Channel 14 when approaching from seawards to advise position and intentions.  Maintain a listening watch at all times on VHF Channel 12/14 when navigating in the Humber estuary.

Please Note: Navigation and pilotage notes are provided for general information only and it is essential to use an up to date chart and pilot book for navigation purposes

River Humber Charts

Admiralty Charts

SC5614        Orford Ness to Whitby (Small Craft Folio)
0107            Approaches to the River Humber
0109            River Humber and the Rivers Ouse and Trent
1188            River Humber - Spurn Head to Immingham
1190            Flamborough Head to Blakeney Point
3497            River Humber - Immingham to Humber Bridge

Imray Charts

C29              Harwich to Whitby

ABP Charts
ABP offer a number of charts of the River Humber for sale through selected outlets. All charts are produced annually and some more frequently due to the rapid channel changes which can occur in the Upper Humber.

River Humber Tides

Admiralty Easytide
Tidal predictions for Spurn Head for the next 7 days


Related Content

River Humber Cruising Guide

River Humber Marine Services

River Humber Weather

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