Sea buoys, fairways and channels
Aden and Little Aden peninsulas are very prominent and the harbour lies
between them. Approaching Aden from the W, pass 1 nm south of Little Aden
Peninsula and then to pilot station at 12° 44.0’ N, 044° 57.0’ E south of the
entrance to the dredged channel marked by the No. 1 buoys (QR and QG). At night,
with Elephant’s Back light (red and white sectored) on a bearing of not greater
than 061° (white sector) a ship will clear the Little Aden Peninsula on a course
to bring her close to the port entrance. Approaching from the E, pass 1 nm south
of the Aden Peninsula and then to the channel entrance. At night, pass 1.5 nm S
of Ra’s Marshaq light and then steer W to the entrance to the channel.
All approach channels to Aden are marked by pairs of buoys and vessels should
pass mid-way between these buoys. From the No. 1 buoys the outer section of the
dredged channel is 15.0 m in depth, width 220 m, leading to Buoy No. 3 (S
Cardinal, VQ6 + LFl 10s) 9 cables north of the channel entrance where it divides
into channels leading to the oil harbour and to the inner harbour.
The channel to Little Aden oil harbour has a depth of 14.7 m, width 220 m,
length 2.3 nm. from the dividing point. Immediately after passing No. 2 buoys,
turn to head 300° on the leading marks for the centre of the channel to pass
north of the oil harbour breakwater turning area (diameter 420m).
From the dividing point the inner harbour channel has a depth of 15.0 m, width
185 m, distance 2.6 nm to the inner harbour breakwater, mssarked by pairs of
buoys. Vessels steer 027° to inner harbour channel No. 2 Buoys, then 047° to
clear the inner harbour breakwater. The inner harbour channel is 15.0 m deep,
220 m wide and leads on a heading of 068° to the 700 m diameter turning area off
The AGT is marked by red and green lights situated on the mooring dolphin, Fl
ev 4 secs, showing over an arc of the horizon of 90 degrees each. Ships due to
berth at No. 1 berth approach from the centre of the turning area. In view of
the limited space available for berthing, ships calling at No. 2 berth need to
approach with caution from the southern section of the turning area.
Ships calling at the Ma’alla Terminal should approach from the central part of
the turning area, keeping well clear of Buoy No. 9 marking shallow water north
of the AGT, to reach the berths and 11.0 m deep turning area north of the
Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels over 200 GRT entering or
leaving (with certain exceptions). The pilot station for all vessels bound for
the oil harbour or inner harbour, unless advised otherwise by Aden Port Control,
is immediately south of the channel entrance in Lat 12° 44.00’N and Long 44°
57.00’E, shown by the standard Pilot Station symbol. A circle radius 5 cables at
this position is marked on the chart to indicate that anchoring within this area
All vessels arriving off the port and wishing to enter must show the standard
international signal to request a pilot. Pilot boats have red hulls and yellow
superstructures. They exhibit the standard international pilot signal at night.
During all seasons ships should be heading north while boarding the pilot. A
pilot ladder should be rigged on the port (lee) side by the ship during the NE
Monsoon period (mid-September to May). The ladder should normally be rigged on
the starboard (lee) side during the SW monsoon (June to mid-September) unless
otherwise advised by the Control Tower.
Anchorage areas are available for ships in the outer harbour
providing depths from 6 to 40 metres in good holding ground. Smaller vessels can
anchor to the north of the oil harbour approach channel and inner harbour
approach channels. Vessels with a draft of ten metres or more can anchor to the
south of the oil harbour approach channel and west or east of the approach
channel to both harbours. Anchorage is prohibited within a radius of 5 cables of
the channel entrance and within 2 cables of any port approach channel.
Vessels are warned that many disused cables exist in the area between Ras
Tarshayn and Jazirat Salil. They are particularly warned not to anchor close to
the fibre-optic cable laid from Gold Mohur Bay running SSW close to the west of
the disused spoil ground (see Admiralty Chart No. 7).
A yacht anchorage is available in the inner harbour between the Prince of
Wales/Abkhari Pier and the dolphin oil berth 6 Out north of this, but yachts are
warned that pipelines and anchor cables exist on the sea bed in this area.
Yachts should anchor well clear of the coast guard base pontoons 1cable east of
the Abkhari Pier (under construction May 2005). Large yachts may use the
anchorage south of the western end of the rubble mound or, if taking fuel,
bunkering berths 6 In and 6 Out (depth 11.9m alongside).