ABP Southampton has installed a new hi-tech weather station to give greater and more accurate assessment of conditions providing safer boarding for Pilots on vessels.

The station on the Nab Tower Lighthouse, on the eastern approach to the Solent has been installed by Trinity House, the General Lighthouse Authority for England, Wales, the Channel Islands and Gibraltar and owner of the tower.

It will transmit information on wind speed and visibility to the Marine team at ABP Southampton. A radio navigation aid known as AIS (Automatic Identification System) is being used as it requires little power enabling the system to be sustained with a modest solar power array.

Wave height data captured from the Channel Coastal Observatory will be combined with the weather information.

This information will give a detailed view on current conditions and will advise on suitability for boarding and disembarking pilots in the Solent.

Without the weather station the pilotage team could only use local knowledge and experience to assess the suitability of the conditions and sometimes sending a launch to Nab tower to assess the wind speed and wave height in person.

Captain Phil Buckley, Harbour Master at the Port of Southampton, said: “Safety for our teams is the number one priority. As Pilots board vessels while they’re still moving, it’s vital that we provide the launch Coxswain and Pilot with as accurate information as possible to support them in making critical decisions.

“This new weather station will give us greater safety assurance and efficiency for our launch teams and Pilots.”

As an addition to the weather station data, Trinity House now monitors the power supply so it can advise ABP of any supply failures.