Freeport Harbour General Information
Entrance Channel and Turning Basin
- Entrance to Freeport Harbour from the sea is through a straight channel 1,800 feet in length, 500 feet in width with a depth of 52.5 feet (16 meters) at M.L.W.
- The turning basin is of a trapezoidal shape, 2,000 feet in length from the entrance to the North-North Eastern shore with a mean width of 1,800 feet from the Main Wharf in a West North Westerly direction.
- There are no reefs or obstructions to the open sea.
- British Admiralty Charts Nos. 390 and 398 depict Freeport Harbour and its approaches. U.S. Charts Nos. 26,323 also depicts Freeport Harbour and its approaches, indicating latest port expansions.
There is good offshore anchorage under the control of the Freeport Harbour Co., approximately 2,500 feet to the North West from the entrance channel for a distance of 1.5 miles (submarine cable in existence) which is sheltered from winter conditions, South Westerly and Northerly winds. The bottom of the sea is lime and coral rock covered by sand and loose lime.
- Main Wharf -1,050 feet. Water depth 32 feet at M.LW.
- Basin no. 1 -700 feet x 350 feet x 600 feet. Depth 32 feet at M.L.W.
- Basin no. 2 -1,200 feet x 350 feet x 350 feet. Depth 32 feet at M.L.W. This Basin has 3 ramps, 1 -150 feet wide, 2 -60 feet wide for Roll-on, Roll-off operations. Three inner berths have the edge of the ramp (-) 3 feet at M.H.W.
- At the Northern side of this Basin, 600 feet of dockside has been leased to the Bahamas Oil Refining Company.
- Basin no. 3 -2,500 feet x 350 feet x 650 feet -Depth 25 feet at M.L.W. Basin is operated and administrated by the Bahamas Rock Company.
- The west side of this Basin no. 4 -940 feet x 350 feet x 657 feet -Depth 32 feet at MLW.
- The Inner Harbour with 3,000 feet of dock is currently used for:
- Barge Canal
- The Freeport Container Port
- Two offshore jetties are owned and operated by the Bahamas Oil Refining Company. (BORCO) The outer Jetty, with a depth of approximately 96 feet alongside its seaward side and approximately 84 feet alongside the inshore side, is 1,400 feet long. It is capable of berthing Supertankers over 500,000 DWT. The inner jetty, with a depth of approximately 60 feet at M.L.W. at its seaward side, is 1,900 feet. NB The average range of tide in Freeport is 3 feet.
Transit and Bonded Warehouses: The Freeport Harbour Company Limited owns and operates 43,000 square feet of transit sheds and Bonded Warehouses.
Fresh Water: Fresh water may be obtained at the following locations:
- Main Wharf – three connections:
- Basin no. 1 – Northern and Southern sides and near the ramp at North Eastern corner.
- Basin no. 2 – Northern and Southern side – three connections.
- Also from Bahamas Oil Refining Company’s barges.
- Basin no. 4 – two connections.
- Barge Canal – one connection
Bunkers: Complete bunkering facilities are provided by Bahamas Oil Refining Co. either at the two offshore Mooring jetties referred to in 3.1.8 above, or from barges at anchor and alongside in Port. Also at Bunker Point Berth no. 2.
Pilotage: Pilotage is compulsory. Every ship (other than an exempted ship) while entering, leaving or making use of the Port or the waterways of Freeport, and every ship carrying passengers (other than an exempted ship) while navigating for any such purpose as aforesaid, is required to be attended by a Pilot licensed by the Port Director.
The exemptions from compulsory pilotage in Freeport Harbour are as follows:
- Ships belonging to Her Majesty.
- Ships belonging to the Government of the Bahamas.
- Ships carrying passengers of less than 400 GT.
- Ships other than those carrying passengers of less than 400 GT.
- Ships specifically exempted by the Port Director.
- Military ships.
Tug Assistance: Tug Assistance is available from BORCO Towing Company, Smit International Bahamas and Svitzer Bahamas Limited. These companies operate as independent towage contractors within the Harbour. Towage rates are available upon request.
Contacts for Tug Companies:
Svitzer Bahamas Limited
PO Box F 43550
Freeport, Grand Bahama
Tel: 242 352 3060
Fax: 242 352 4114
Ship Repair Facilities: Ship Repair Facilities are provided exclusively by Grand Bahama Shipyard and Bradford Marine