QinetiQ operates the live weapons Test and Evaluation Range in Shoeburyness and on Foulness Island in Essex, known as MOD Shoeburyness. The Range is active Monday to Friday (occasionally at weekends), all year round conducting activities that involve firing and detonating live ammunition, often over long distances, out to sea.
To enable the Range to work safely and ensure that hazardous activities do not present a risk to members of the public, it operates under the jurisdiction of the Artillery Ranges Byelaws 1936 and the Shoeburyness and District Military Lands Byelaws 1935 (under the Military Lands Acts 1892 to 1903). The byelaws govern the use of the land and rights of access and passage through the byelaw area. The byelaws cover an area of the Thames Estuary and the North Sea and the inner waterways that run from Havengore Creek across to the River Roach and the River Crouch. This area comprises the Range Sea Danger Area (RSDA), unauthorised entry to this area is both prohibited and dangerous.
QinetiQ is responsible for managing access to the RSDA and ensuring that mariners do not stray into the area, putting themselves and their vessels at risk. In order to help monitor the RSDA whilst the Range is active, QinetiQ uses marine radar and has a Range Safety Boat which patrols the perimeter and advises any unauthorised vessels to leave in accordance with the byelaws and in the interests of health and safety.
To raise awareness of the location of the RSDA and help avoid incursions by unauthorised vessels, there is a section on the MOD Shoeburyness website which is dedicated to safety information for mariners. Here, mariners can find details about how to safely navigate in the vicinity of the Range, how to contact Range Control for advice and the meaning of the Red Flags that the Range uses to indicate the status of the Inner and Outer Sea Areas. If you or your members sail in the vicinity of the Range, we strongly suggest that you familiarise yourself with the restrictions.
Our website also has a guide for anyone wishing to access the inner waterways via Havengore Bridge and we post status alerts on Twitter to notify when either Havengore Bridge or Potton Bridge is non-operational. Follow us @SHB_Alerts.
You may also find the information in the attached leaflet of interest. http://www.shoeburyness.qinetiq.com/public-safety/Pages/information-for-mariners.aspx