Broadcaster 2021

Boating Basics 23

6 Keep your head down Mind your head at all bridges.

• Think ahead for bridges. Tides go up and down so be very careful. Check how high your boat is with the canopy down. Check the clearance boards that tell you the height above water under the bridge.

• Take down your canopy and windshield, get everyone off deck and make sure that all hands, feet and heads are inside the boat. Make sure you have the boat well under control before the bridge, especially if there’s a strong current.

• Watch carefully for signs of other boats coming through – usually the boat travelling with the current has right of way as it’s more difficult for it to manoeuvre. Never stop or moor under bridges.

• Keep hands, feet and heads inside the boat until you are well clear of the bridge, and if things go wrong, don’t try to fend off using your hands or feet.

7 Stay aboard Don't swim in the rivers and broads.

• You’ll never see a ranger swimming – it’s too dangerous, no matter how hot the weather is or how good a swimmer you are. There are currents and obstructions and cold water can be dangerous.

• If someone falls in, throw them a lifebuoy and pull them to a bank or ladder. If you have to bring someone up on to your boat from the water, make sure the engine is switched off as they get close. Never reverse towards them and keep them clear of the back of the boat – this where the sharp propeller blades are. Never put yourself in danger by entering the water.

8 Bon appetit

Take care with barbecues, in permitted areas.

• Never light or use barbecues on deck or anywhere else on your boat, or on wooden moorings.

Left: Potter Heigham Bridge was built in medieval times. All hire cruisers must use the bridge pilot.


• Remember that bridge clearances given in our table are averages, based on normal tides. But tidal levels can vary considerably and so affect the figures.

• At railway swing bridges a single red flag indicates bridge in service/operable. Two red flags indicate bridge out of service/inoperable. Take note of the electronic signage at each bridge. If you are unable to pass under due to water levels, approach the bridge, give three blasts on the horn and follow the instructions on the illuminated signs on the bridge. If you have a radio, Reedham, Trowse and


River Bure Wroxham Railway

••• Wroxham Road • Acle

around Great Yarmouth •• Yarmouth/Acle Road •• Yarmouth Vauxhall • Yarmouth Haven Breydon Fixed Span • Breydon Lifting Span

River Thurne Potter Heigham New

••• Potter Heigham Old River Ant Ludham •• Wayford

River Wensum • Norwich Railway Trowse • Norwich Carrow • Norwich Novi Sad • Norwich Lady Julian Norwich Foundry • Norwich Bishop

8'6" 2.59m 7'


14' 16' 13' 10'

10'6" 2.13m

2.74m 4.27m 4.88m 3.96m 3.05m 3.20m

Note: In all cases, tidal levels can vary considerably and so affect the above figures.

• Arched Bridges – clearance is given at the centre.

•• Canopies, windscreens, etc. should be lowered and extra care taken.

••• As references • and •• combined. • Lift or Swing Bridges

• Keep your mobile phone charged.

• For other important numbers see the telephone directory on page 44.

• Defibrillators are available at some boatyards and villages (usually near a pub, shop or village hall).

Central bridge clearance High Water normal tide

15' 12'

7' 13' 11'6"

7'7" 6'6"


4.57m 2.21m 3.66m


6'9" 2.06m 9'6" 2.90m 3.96m 3.51m

2.31m 1.98m

Somerleyton rail bridges monitor VHF Channel 12. In hot weather, you may like to check ahead to see if Somerleyton Bridge is working as temperature can affect the mechanism.

• At Potter Heigham all hire cruisers must use the bridge pilot from Phoenix Fleet boatyard and private boats are advised to do so. The pilot service is available daily 8.30am-5pm, depending on tide and weather conditions, 07990 686097 (pilot) or 01692 670460 (Phoenix Fleet boatyard). The cost for hire cruisers (Blakes and Hoseasons) is £10 return, and for private boats £10 each way.

• At Wroxham there are two bridges close together. Hire cruisers must use the bridge pilot.


River Yare • Reedham

Postwick Viaduct

River Waveney Beccles New

••• Beccles Old • Oulton Broad Mutford

Haddiscoe New Cut Haddiscoe Flyover

Central bridge clearance High Water normal tide

10' 35'

•• Thorpe Railway (2 bridges) 6' 12' 6'6"

• Oulton Broad Lake Lothing 15' • Somerleyton St Olaves

3.05m 10.67m 1.83m

3.66m 1.98m

7'10" 2.39m 4.57m

8'6" 2.59m 8'

24' 2.44m 7.32m 9

Keep your wits about you

Don't drink and drive on the water.

• We recommend that people driving and sailing boats don’t drink alcohol until their boats are moored for the night.

10 Slow down and relax

Stick to speed limits and check your wash (the waves made by your boat).

• Always look behind your boat – there should be no big waves (they damage banks, disturb wildlife, rock moored boats and can even capsize small craft).


• Call 999 or 112 from any type of phone for coastguard, fire, police or ambulance services.

• Ask for the coastguard if you are on or next to the water – they’re not just for the sea. They will call the other services if needed.

• Tell the emergency services or your boatyard where you are. Always keep track of where you are when boating.

• If you are on a holiday boat the contact details for your boatyard are in the back of your skipper's manual.

• The Broads Authority 24-hour moorings have name plates with Ordnance Survey grid references and postcodes on them. If you are near one, give these details to the emergency services or your boatyard so they know where you are.


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