In a maritime context, a channel indicates the access road to a port or a zone of Mouillage in which a ship will have the more great depth of water under the Quille, allowing him to progress in full safety.
The channel is generally delimited by regularly spaced Balise S and a alignment of Amer S makes it possible to confirm the good position in the case or of the beacons would be déradées.
In a channel, conventions of Balisage are particular: the shape and the color of the beacons are codified under the name of system of side beaconing. The Balise S of the important channels are enlightened of night by fires.
The channel of access to the little attended shelters can be delimited by simple poles planted in the content. A channel is created when:
- of the zones of high funds (not very deep water zone) or of shelf S are on the access path to the shelter,
- the access to a commercial port requires artificially to increase the depth of water available to make it possible ships to large Tirant of water to pass (largest tankers one a draft which can go up to 25 meters).
The channels of the port S of trade are maintained by a constant work of the dredgers. When coastal water is not very deep - for example in France in front of the wearing of Nantes and Saint Nazaire -, the channels can begin with tens of miles off the coast.
The rules of navigation in a channel are particular. The general principle is that the small ships and the fishing vessels should not obstruct the passage of the ships which can sail in full safety only inside one narrow channel or of an access road . (See for more details Rule 9 of the international Payment to prevent the boardings at sea). The ships circulating on the channels must hold the line of the channel. The sailing is regulated when there exists a commercial traffic.
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