Vessel entering Falmouth

Marine Safety Guidance

Falmouth Harbour has been important to commercial shipping for centuries and is famous for its wide expanses of sheltered waters.

Admiralty charts

The Harbour and its approaches are well charted and the following Admiralty charts cover the harbour area and also the nearby quarry berth at Porthoustock.

  • BA 154 Falmouth Bay and Approaches
  • BA 32 Carrick Roads
  • BA 18 Inner Harbour
  • BA 147 Coverack, Porthoustock, Porthallow & The Manacles

See a description of the approach to each of the ports in the Estuary is in the Admiralty Pilot Book. Further information is provided in our Falmouth Port Passage Plan information 20-033-01.

Carrick Roads

There are rocks at the entrance to the Carrick Roads which are marked by a beacon. A lighthouse has been placed on St Anthony Head on the Eastern side of the entrance. The light has a red sector which indicates the location of the Manacle Rocks in Falmouth Bay.

Buoyed channels

Buoyed channels are maintained in the Carrick Roads and Penryn River with all of the major marks and the majority of smaller marks being lit. A sectored light is placed on the Queens Jetty to indicate the approach channel. For details see the charts above and the Admiralty List of Lights Volume 1.

Deployment and Marking of Fishing Gear Code of Practice

Within the waters of Falmouth fishing for recreational and commercial reasons takes place. To ensure that fishing gear does not cause a problem a Code of Practice for Deployment and Marking of Fishing Gear (30-201-01) is in place to guide people undertaking these activities.

Documents giving further information on Harbour facilities are available within the Harbour Notices and Directions section.

Marine Energy

There is a licensed Marine Energy Device test Site in Falmouth Bay (FaBTest Site) which is marked as a precautionary area on the chart. The licence allows for up to three devices to be deployed at any one time. Individual devices may be large in size and have low freeboard.

The deployment of devices including their positions, descriptions and marking arrangements are promulgated via local port notices. Visit the FaBTest Site.


Changes in conditions within the Harbour that may affect the safety of navigation are promulgated via local port notices. See the port notices that are currently in force.


Pilotage is available at a minimum of one hours notice and is compulsory for some vessels. See details of pilotage services here.

A Local Port Service is maintained and details of this are published in the Admiralty List of Radio Signals Volume 6.

Guidance for Recreational Diving in Falmouth Harbour and Bay