The Queens Harbour Master QHM is responsible for the monitoring and co-ordination of all shipping movements for vessels of 20 metres LOA or over, North of a line joining Gilkicker Point and Horse Sand Fort Light. Although QHM's area extends south of this line, the VTS in that area is delegated to ABP Southampton by private agreement.
QHM Harbour Control maintains radar coverage of the Eastern Solent including the Portsmouth Harbour Approach Channel. A continuous listening watch is maintained on VHF Ch11 and 13, Ch11 being the primary channel for the co-ordination of shipping movements entering and leaving Portsmouth. Ch13 is normally used by the naval tugs and to control naval movements within the naval base, but on occasion QHM may authorize its use in the event of Ch11 being busy.
All vessels over 20m in length underway in Portsmouth Harbour and remaining north of a line joining Fort Gilkicker and Horse Sand Fort are to maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Ch11, they must also request permission from QHM before moving within the Harbour or leaving their berth.
Harbour Control is situated at Semaphore Tower adjacent to the South Railway Jetty (SRJ). Weather, VHF, Radar and CCTV, are recorded and can be archived for later use in investigations.
Semaphore Tower also accommodates the Marine Response Centre (MRC) for controlling SOLFIRE EAST incidents.