Orkney Harbour Authority requires that certain vessels (primarily loaded tankers) navigating in the Hoxa Sound / Scapa Flow areas are escorted by tugs. The requirements are based on the quantity of pollutants carried and are outlined in the table below.

Area*Quantity of PollutantsNumber of TugsMode
A>5,000 tonnes1Standby
B>5000 tonnes1Passive
B>15,000 tonnes2Minimum 1 active
B>170,000 tonnes3Minimum 1 active
C>15,000 tonnes2Passive
C>170,000 tonnes2Minimum 1 active
*see map below (the above table also applies to LNG vessels).

The master and pilot have the authority to dispense with a tug escort in area 'C' should they consider it appropriate. It is also recommended that ballasted tankers are accompanied by a tug escort as follows:

  • Area A 1 tug standby
  • Area B 1 tug on active mode
  • Area C 1 tug on passive mode

For the purpose of tug escorts, a pollutant is defined as crude oil or heavy bunker fuel.

For further details on Pilotage services please contact:

Capt. Alistair Wylie, Depurt harbour Master Operations,
Harbour Authority Building, Scapa, Orkney, KW15 1SD
Tel: +44 (0)1856 8736360
Fax: +44 (0)1856 873012
Email: [email protected]

Tug Escort Areas Within Scapa Flow