Trinity House announced on 12 May that it will replace the Channel Lightvessel with one of its largest Safe Water Mark buoys, now that the lightvessel position has successfully established a marine traffic pattern in the area. The operation to deploy a replacement buoy is set to take place in mid-August.
Following the grounding of the Amoco Cadiz in 1978, the IMO adopted the Off Casquets Traffic Separation Scheme (TSS) in 1979; Trinity House established the Channel Lightvessel so as to clearly define the new TSS to all mariners at a time when such schemes were a relatively new maritime feature.
It has been determined that as the lightvessel does not marks any physical hazards to navigation, it could be removed now that the marine traffic patterns in the area are well established. Recognising that the Channel Lightvessel has become a prominent physical mark, Trinity House has decided to replace the lightvessel with one of its largest Safe Water Mark buoys in order to enable position verification in the area.