Defined by local regulations (reglement local de la Station de pilotage de Dunkerque), Dunkirk pilot station consists of two pilotage areas:

1. The outside area is bounded by the followings :

  • West limit : Calais Lighthouse Meridian
  • East limit : the 002° 27′ E Meridian
  • North limit : 3 miles from the low water coast line.
  • South limit : Calais pilotage area, the coast line and the inside area as defined further.

2.     The inside area is bounded by the followings :

  • West limit : the line joining the point on the coast 2 miles West of the Aa channel and the point in position 51°03’N and 002°08′ E.
  • North limit : the 51°03’N Parallel, the coast line, the 002°20’E Meridian, the 51°04,3N Parallel.
  • East limit : the Dunkirk lighthouse Meridian.
  • South limit : the limit of the Dunkirk harbour waters.

Within the areas defined above, pilots have jurisdiction to receive, interpret and provide any informations relevant to traffic of vessels and to participate in the coordination and exploitation of those informations in the interest of traffic and safety.

At the request of the ships captains to or from Dunkirk, pilots may need to extend their services beyond the limits above and to the piloting limits of neighboring ports.

Hanjin - Pilotage de Dunkerque

Limit of compulsory pilotage and pilotage exemption:

Provided they are equipped with VHF radio communication in working condition, the length below which ships are exempts from compulsory pilotage is set for the ports of Dunkirk East and West:

In the outside area :

  • 100m (LOA) inbound or outbound.

In the inside area :

  • 50m (LOA) inbound or outbound for Dunkirk East port.
  • 70m (LOA) inbound or outbound for Dunkirk West port.

However, are excluded vessels carrying dangerous cargo when subject because the nature and quantity of goods transported has to be operated at a special safety berth under the general or local regulation for transport and handling dangerous or infected cargo in seaports.

Pilot boarding station :

1. Dyck pilot station :

This is the main pilot station reachable both by fast pilot boats and by helicopter, it is located 1Nautical Mile South SouthWest of the Racon buoy “Dyck” φ 51° 02.98 ‘N, 001° 51.76 G E. All vessels must keep a careful watch on VHF channel 72 when entering the Dyck area.

2. Dunkirk East Port Pilot Station :

The pilot may board at this pilot station located 3 cables North North East of Dunkirk East Port breakwaters This is for vessels with a LOA below 100m with no dangerous cargo.

3. Zuytcoote passage at E12 buoy Pilot Station:

Située à proximité de la bouée E12 (φ 51° 07.92’N ; G 002°30.62’E) à la frontière Belge, permet un passage raccourci depuis ou à destination du port de Dunkerque vers les ports du Nord Est Européen.

Pilotage areas, Click to enlarge

4. North Ruytingen buoy Pilot Station:

Located near the buoy North Ruytingen (φ 51° 13.2 ‘N, G 002° 10.3 ‘E), provides a connection between the West channel access to Dunkirk and the North East lane of the traffic separation scheme using the passage called “route des bancs de Flandres”.

5. MPC buoy Pilot Station :

Located near the buoy MPC (φ 51° 06.01 ‘N, 001° 38.2 G, E) between the lanes of the traffic separation scheme.

Anchorage :

As defined in “Article 11 de l’arrêté préfectoral 52/2012” regulating the traffic of vessels in Dunkirk port approaches, “the pilotage service is available for anchoring in the waiting area (VHF channel 72), this service is recommended for the largest vessels or the vessels constrained by their draft. ”