File No. 841.801/45

The Consul General at London (Skinner) to the Secretary of State

Sir: Referring to my telegram of May 17,1 setting forth briefly the terms of a notice on navigation in the North Sea and English Channel received from the trade division of the Admiralty on that date, I have the honor to enclose herewith, in duplicate, a full copy of the circular, together with the Admiralty Notices to Mariners1 referred to in said circular.

I have [etc.]

Robert P. Skinner

Navigation in the North Sea and British Home Waters

The previous notice on navigation in the North Sea and English Channel (dated 30th November 1914) is cancelled.


1. Local naval or military authorities may, at any time when they consider it necessary, close a port during certain hours without previous warning.

2. Before leaving ports in the United Kingdom masters of vessels should be careful to obtain the latest Admiralty Notices to Mariners. Attention is called to the notice on the inside cover of all Admiralty Sailing Directions and their supplements, and to the following Admiralty Notices to Mariners and any subsequent ones that may be issued:

  • No. 1738 of 13th November 1914. River Medway.
  • No. 1812 of 10th December 1914. Bristol Channel.
  • No. 45 of 15th January 1915. Yarmouth Roads.
  • No. 137 of 22d February 1915. Irish Channel. North Channel.
  • No. 165 of 8th March 1915. River Humber pilotage.
  • No. 228 of 26th March 1915. Dover Strait. Light vessels established.
  • No. 239 of 27th March 1915. North Sea, River Thames, and English Channel.
  • No. 258 of 3d April 1915. Portland Harbour.
  • No. 274 of 7th April 1915. Caution when approaching British ports.
  • No. 391 of 5th May 1915. Firth of Forth, Moray Firth, Scapa Flow.
  • No. 408 of 8th May 1915. River Tyne boom defence. Entrance signals and traffic regulations.

3. Care must be taken at all times to ensure masters being in possession of the latest Notices to Mariners.

4. Any lights may be extinguished and other aids to navigation removed or altered at any time without previous warning. (Admiralty Notice to Mariners, No. 1627 of 9th October 1914.)


5. So far as is known at present there are, in addition to the mine fields mentioned in Admiralty Notice to. Mariners, No. 391 of 5th May 1915, the following principal mined areas:

Off the Tyne.
Off Flamborough Head.
Off Southwold (Southern limit 50° 54’ N.).
British mine field between latitude 51° 15’ N. and latitude 51° 40’ N., and between longitude 1° 35’ E. and longitude 3° E.

[Page 672]


6. All vessels entering the North Sea from the English Channel must pass between the two light vessels off Folkestone (see Admiralty Notice to Mariners, No. 228 of 1915), and proceed to the Downs, keeping inshore of an imaginary line joining the southernmost of the two light vessels to the South Goodwin light vessel. Further instructions as to routes can be obtained in the Downs.

7. Vessels proceeding up or down the east coast should keep within three miles of the coast when consistent with safe navigation.


(Note.—In each case the return voyage should be made on the same route.)

8. East coast ports to Channel and French ports.—Proceed to the Downs following the directions in paragraph 7 and Admiralty Notice to Mariners, No. 239 of 1915. At the Downs further instructions will be obtained.

9. East coast ports to Dutch ports.—Proceed as directed in paragraph 7 and Admiralty Notice to Mariners, No. 239 of 1915. Leave the English coast between the parallels 51° 40’ N. and 51° 54’ N.; proceed between these parallels as far as longitude 3° E.; shape course thence to destination. Vessels using this route (which passes between the British and German mine fields) must clearly understand that they do so entirely at their own risk.

10. East coast ports to Scandinavian ports.—Proceed as directed in paragraph 7 and Admiralty Notice to Mariners, No. 239 of 1915, as far as Farn Island; then steer for Lindesnæs and thence to destination, keeping in territorial waters. The route from St. Abbs Head to Stavanger may be used as an alternative to the above route.

11. British and Allied vessels wishing to use the northabout route should apply to the customs for directions.

Neutral vessels wishing to use the northabout route should be informed that application for permission to do so must be obtained through their diplomatic representatives, and that, failing such permission, they must proceed southabout.

In no circumstances are vessels allowed to pass through the Minches or through the Pentland Firth.

12. Sailing vessels from Atlantic to Scandinavian ports.—Pass to westward of Ireland and St. Kilda. Then make the Faroe Islands, and proceed thence to destination, passing to the northward of the Shetland Islands, and keeping 50 miles from them.

  1. Not printed.
  2. Not printed.