According to the marine circular, shipowners and masters are encouraged to discuss the applicable speed regulations as part of a detailed navigational discussion between the Master and the Pilot when calling at Argentinean ports, as this could minimise or prevent wash damage incidents.

Our experience indicates that this would prevent wash damage incidents, which entails disputes for damages to terminals and other vessels; and also triggers Coast Guards administrative enquiries, inspections, security and other issues that sometimes cause delays to the ship involved.

...Argentina Pandi Liquidadores stated.

According to the REGINAVE (Sea, River and Lake Navigation Regime), it is forbidden to all vessels to sail at such speed capable of:

  • creating a risk to other vessels, watercrafts or naval contrivances sailing nearby
  • causing damages to berths, shore constructions or installations or navigational aids or other markers
  • causing damages or a risky situation to vessels, watercrafts or naval contrivances berthed or anchored
  • or in excess to the maximum speeds established by the Coast Guards

To remind, inside any port the ships must sail to the minimum speed compatible with its good steering but never in excess of 6 knots to avoid wash damages to the vessels moored.

Specific restrictions

RIVER PLATE

  • Ing. Emilio Mitre Channel: it extends 50.37 Km from Km 12 of Buenos Aires access channel to the mouth of the Parana de las Palmas River. Depending on ship’s draft the following limits apply:
    → Vessels draft 8.84 m or more: 8 knots between Km. 40 to 47; and 10 knots between Km 12 to 40.
    → Vessels draft less than 8.84 m: 12 knots between Km 12 to 48 but minimum compatible with the good steering with sailing through Coast Guard stations.

PARANA RIVER

  • Throughout the Parana River (including Parana Guazu, Parana Bravo and Pasaje Talavera branches, all of which converge to the Parana): vessels must sail cautiously.
  • The speed has to be reduced to the minimum compatible with the good steering whenever there are other vessels or watercrafts berthed, maneuvering or under lightering operations, nearby berths and port terminals or stretches on the River that so requires it.
  • Bridges vessels must sail to their minimum speed compatible with the good steering and ready to let go anchors.

Parana de las Palmas

→ The speed limit is 10 knots with the following exceptions:
→ Km 114 to 180 the speed limit is 13 knots
→ Km 68 to 72 minimum speed compatible with good steering
→ Km 73.5 to 75.5 minimum speed compatible with good steering
→ Km 92 to 114 minimum speed compatible with good steering

The Master should be aware of the speed limits during the passage. It should be taken into account that whenever a specific maximum speed applies in certain areas, the vessel is not relieved from complying with the general rules seen above.

These general rules call for cautious navigation to avoid risks to other vessels, shore constructions and navigational aids, often requiring the vessel to steam at the minimum speed compatible with its good steering even though a specific maximum speed limit applies.