Vessels sailing through the Strait of Istanbul in compliance with the traffic separation scheme shall pay attention to warning lights of the bridges regarding sailing safety. Vessels with an air draught of 58 metres or more may not pass through the Strait of Istanbul. Vessels with an air draught of 54-58 metres shall be accompanied by a tug boat, the number and force of which will be determined by the administration, to ensure they keep their course.
L.O.A / DRAUGHT
AA. There is no definite L.O.A.and/or draught restriction determined by the administration, however:
BB. Vessels 150-200 metres in length and/or whose draught is between 10-15 metres shall submit SP1 reports to the VTS Centre, at least 24 hours before entering the Turkish Straits.Vessels 200-300 metres in length and/or with a draught of in excess of 15 metres shall submit SP1 reports at least 48 hrs before entering the Turkish Straits.
CC. For vessels in excess of 300 metres in length, the owner/operator must provide the administration with the information on the vessel and its cargo at the planning phase of the journey. Based on such information, the VTS Centre, and - if necessary - the administration, shall inform the vessel's owner/operator/captain of any requirements and recommendations to ensure the vesselÕs safe passage through the Turkish Straits. In doing so, all vessel specifications, including dimensions and manoeuvring capabilities, as well as the morphological and physical structure of the Turkish Straits and the season shall be taken into account. Safety of life, property, the environment and maritime will also be considerations.Vessels fulfilling the conditions of passage must submit their SP1 report at least 72 hrs in advance.
DD. Measures shall be taken by the VTS Centre to ensure safe passage for the vessels mentioned above (paragraphs 1.2.2. and 1.2.3.). For vessels carrying dangerous cargo, the rule to navigate within the traffic separation lanes in a certain area may be suspended, if and when deemed necessary. When a vessel carrying dangerous cargo, with the characteristics described in paragraphs 1.2.2. and 1.2.3., enters the Strait of Istanbul (Bosphorus), no other vessel with the same characteristics is permitted to enter the Straits, until the first vessel has passed the Istanbul Bogazi bridge (when entering from the north) or Hamsi Burnu-Fil Burnu line (when entering from the south). In the strait of Canakkale (Dardanelles), this ruling applies until the first vessel has left the Nara Burnu region.
It is recommended that the passage of vessels in excess of 200 metres in length, or with a draught of 15 metres of more, take place during day-time.Please also refer revised Transitting Regulation for day-time passage restrictions.
When the surface current speeds in the Straits of Istanbul or Canakkale exceed 4 knots, or when northerly surface currents are caused by southerly winds, vessels carrying dangerous cargo, large vessels and deep draught vessels with a speed of 10 knots or less, may not enter the straits. They will be required to wait until current speeds have dropped to 4 knots or less, or northerly currents have ceased.Other vessels, however, may transit by obtaining the tugboat(s) necessary as determined by the VTS Centre, in accordance with their tonnage.When the surface current speeds in the Straits of Istanbul and Canakkale exceed 6 knots, or when strong northerly currents are caused by southerly winds, vessels carrying dangerous cargo, large vessels and deep draught vessels (regardless of their speed) will not be permitted to enter the Strait. They will be required to wait until current speeds are less than 6 knots or the strong northerly currents have ceased.The administration shall notify vessels and the relevant authorities of the conditions of the currents.When the current speed or pattern reverts to normal, the VTS Centre shall inform vessels and the relevant authorities of the order of vessels' passage through the Straits. This shall be established according to the Turkish Straits reporting system and according to the types of vessels in order to speed up the flow of traffic.
AA. When visibility is 2 nautical miles or less, anywhere in the Straits, transiting vessels passing will keep their radars turned on constantly to provide radar reading. On vessels with two radars, one will be assigned for the pilot's use.
BB. When visibility is 1 nautical mile or less anywhere in the Straits, maritime traffic will be open in the appropriate direction and closed in the opposite direction. In the meantime, vessels carrying dangerous cargo, large vessels and deep draught vessels shall not enter the Straits.
CC. When visibility anywhere in the Strait is less than 0,5 nautical mile, traffic will be halted in both directions.
DD. When visibility in the straits is suitable for navigation, the VTS Centre shall inform vessels and the relevant authorities of the order of vessels' passage through the Straits. This shall be established according to the Turkish Straits reporting system and according to the types of vessels in order to speed up the flow of traffic.
Masters/shipowners/shipmanagers/ship operators are requested to send 72/48/24 hours ETA notices to their agent, prior to vessel's passage.
Masters/owners/charterers of vessels weighing 500 gross tons or more, must provide a sailing plan (SPL) through their agents to the VTS Centre 24 hours before entering the mouth of the Strait of Istanbul or the Strait of Canakkale. The master of the vessel must give the Sailing Plan 2 (SP2) directly to the VTS Centre, by VHF Channel 16 or 71, two hours before arrival at the mouth of the strait, or at 20 nautical miles from the mouth of the strait, whichever comes first.