Pilotage, mooring and towage

Pilotage, mooring and towage


Pilotage services for vessels navigating within the river and docks is provided under the Pilotage Act 1987. A team of experienced Class 1 pilots, who are also designated as deputy harbour masters, operate the port’s three pilot boats.


Mooring services are currently provided by Sunderland Foyboatmen’s Association, which is licensed by Port of Sunderland. Tariffs and further information can be obtained from the secretary of the association.

The following procedure must be adhered to in respect of all orders for foyboatmen/linesmen within Port of Sunderland:

1. Shipping agent to contact foyboatmen service provider direct.

2. Agent to confirm that foyboatmen have been ordered by emailing: sunderlandharbourradio@portofsunderland.com

Once a requirement for foyboatmen has been confirmed by a shipping agent, Port Control will notify boatmen direct of any changes to a vessel's ETA/ETD, etc. 

Sunderland Foyboatmen’s Association
Tel: +44 (0)191 567 3527; Mob: 0780 876 6772; Fax: +44 (0)191 567 3527 Email: michael@sunderlandfoyboatmen.co.uk



Svitzer’s Tyne-based tug fleet provides ship-handling services on the River Wear, with additional units being drawn from the River Tees, as required. The harbour master can advise on other local companies providing smaller tugs/workboats for upriver towage and specialist operations.

Svitzer 24-hour tug ordering: +44 (0)1642 247 277