Safety Guidelines

    1. Notification of Safety Defects
    2. Restricted Visibility
    3. Engine Revolution
    4. Security Calls
    1. Docking Clearance
    2. Special Operations
    3. Vessel Berthing
    4. Vessels Calling Chevron Refinery
    1. Trim
    2. Draft Limitations
    1. Pilots
    2. Tugs
    3. Scheduling Conflicts
    1. One-Way Traffic
    2. Vessel Size
    3. Weather
    4. Special Circumstances

These guidelines are intended for use on the waterways within, and leading to, the Port of Pascagoula. The guidelines contained herein are not intended in any way to supersede or assume the role of the rules and regulations contained in the Port of Pascagoula Tariff. All vessels operating within the harbor limits, waterways, and channels of the Port of Pascagoula shall comply with the "Inland Rules of the Road", Port of Pascagoula Tariff No. 2, and all other Federal, State, County or Municipal regulations.

The Port of Pascagoula has one of the best safety records in the country for the amount of traffic that uses the channel and we, the Port of Pascagoula and the Pascagoula shipping community, intend to do all in our power to keep it that way.


A. Notification of Safety Defects

The master, agent, owner, or operator directing the movement of the vessel shall notify the Port Authority and the pilots of any condition or equipment malfunction which could possibly affect safe navigation of the vessel within any channel in the Port of Pascagoula. This should include inoperative windshield wipers or clearviews in addition to equipment in 33 CFR, Part 164.53  (see Port Tariff).

B. Restricted Visibility

Due to the restrictive nature of the channel, it is imperative that vessels afford proper visibility from the bridge. If, because of ship design or obstructive deck cargo, a vessel cannot offer the pilot satisfactory visibility, then two pilots and/or daylight restriction may be imposed.

Satisfactory visibility shall be determined by the Rules and Regulations in 33 CFR, Part 164.15 (see Port Tariff).

C. Engine Revolution

Any vessel calling at the Port of Pascagoula must be capable of attaining the maneuvering RPMs and resultant speeds as posted in the wheelhouse. The vessels must also be able to go from one speed to another within a reasonable time. Any vessel without this capability may be restricted to daylight transit.

D. Security Calls

Every vessel, prior to entering the Horn Island Pass Channel and Bayou Casotte Channel, or when getting underway from a berth, shall:

1. Maintain a radio watch on VHF Channels 13 and 16.

2. Check on other traffic operating in the area by making a security call on Channels 13 and 16 (see Appendix C).


A. Docking Clearance

When docking ships, adequate space must be made available to safely complete this operation. Clearance shall be maintained between vessels to allow for surge or other lateral movement.

B. Special Operations

No vessel shall be moored in such a way as to block, in whole, or in part, the Federal channel.

Under certain conditions, vessels moored within the Port of Pascagoula, with barges alongside, create a hazard to navigation. Such barges may be required to move to allow safe passage for other traffic.

Any ship docked at the south dock of Mississippi Phosphates shall be cleared when a vessel whose LOA is greater than 700' is to be turned in North Bayou Casotte turning basin. Mississippi Phosphates shall be informed at least three hours prior to vessel turning.

C. Vessel Berthing

The length of vessels docking in the Port of Pascagoula should be restricted to adequately allow for proper mooring of the vessel.

D. Vessels Calling Chevron Refinery

Vessels calling the Chevron refinery facilities should call the Chevron dock office and Pilot Disptach prior to entering the Horn Island Pass Channel on VHF channel 16, or by phone 228-938-4512/09 and 228-762-1151.


A. Trim

All vessels transiting the waterways of the Port of Pascagoula should be properly trimmed to allow for maximum maneuvering capabilities.

B. Draft Limitations

The channels leading into the Port of Pascagoula are maintained by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and have a project depth of 42' from Seabouy to Bayou Cassotte. However, at any given time, actual channel depths will vary and could be less than project depth. Copies of the latest Corps of Engineers hydrographic report are available from the Port and should be used when determining the deep drafth. Soundings or draft limitations at berths within the Port of Pascagoula should be obtained from the terminal operator.

Vessels over 37 feet of draft may be restricted to daylight for the entire transit and may require additional tug assistance as determined by the Pilot.


A. Pilots

Orders for pilots must be placed not more than 24 hours, nor less than two hours prior to vessel movement.

B. Tugs

If tugs are required, they should be ordered not less than four hours in advance.

C. Scheduling Conflicts

The generally accepted rule will be first ordered, first served. Exception to this rule will be when mutually agreed by conflicting parties, or when determined by the Port Authority, after consultation with the involved parties, that port activities can best be served by an alternative method.


A. One-Way Traffic

Due to the narrow width of the channels within the Port of Pascagoula, ocean going vessels shall be limited to one-way traffic.

B. Vessel Size

Vessels greater than 750' LOA, or beam exceeding 125' may be limited to daylight transit. Drill rigs with a beam greater than 300' are not recommended.

NOTE: After a vessel has made three port calls, and subject to review by the pilots, certain vessels may be exempt from some or all of the above restrictions.

C. Weather

As wind approaches 30kts and/or seas 10'-12', vessels will be handled on a case by case basis. Drill rigs are limited in transit to winds 15kts or less.

D. Special Circumstances

Vessels over 785' LOA or 125' beam may be required to have two pilots during transit.