Flags and the Sea Danger Area

In accordance with the byelaws, the Inner Sea Area is closed to all maritime traffic and personal watercraft (PWC) at all times, without flags or signage.

There are six Red Flags and a Black Ball that indicate when the Outer Sea Danger Area is closed. When Flags 1-6 are flown and the Black Ball is raised, the area marked by the red line and red marker numbers 1-8 on the map is closed to all marine traffic.

When Flags 1-6 are lowered, marine traffic and PWC is permitted to use the Outer Sea Area and is permitted passage through the Inner Sea Area to the following destinations:

The Shoeburyness Anchorage (otherwise known as Shoeburyness East Beach) by the shortest possible route. Note: No vessel or PWC is permitted to remain in the Inner Sea Area, they may only sail through on route to and from the Anchorage.

Havengore Creek - via Havengore Bridge which is operated when the Range is not active and the creek is navigable, two hours either side of high tide (based on Southend-on-Sea tide times), during daylight hours.

The Red Flags are at the following locations:

Flag 1 – near the sea wall at the extreme west end of War Department property adjoining SOUTH SHOEBURY COMMON. Locally known as "Uncle Tom's" and better described as adjacent to the HM Coastguard Station and the Slipway in Thorpe Bay (opposite the Shorehouse Harvester public house).

Flag 2 – on the shore east of RAMPART STREET.

Flag 3 – on the sea wall at east end of BLACKGATE ROAD.

Flag 4 – on the sea wall approximately 500 feet south west of MORRINS POINT.

Flag 5 – on the shore near WAKERING STAIRS.

Flag 6 – On the sea wall at the war department boundary, HAVENGORE BRIDGE.

Black Signal Ball hoisted at the yard arm of the Observation Tower at FISHERMAN’S HEAD.

Sea Danger Area Navigation Points

The co-ordinates listed below provide the exact turning points for the Outer and Inner Sea Areas that comprise the Range Sea Danger Area. The points are also labelled on the map.

Outer Sea Area
1. 51° 31.380'N 0° 46.515'E
2. 51° 30.220'N 0° 45.724'E
3. 51° 30.270'N 0° 51.273'E
4. 51° 31.459'N 0° 56.704'E
5. 51° 34.071'N 1° 2.239'E
6. 51° 39.581'N 1° 7.391'E
7. 51° 39.609'N 1° 2.735'E
8. 51° 36.990'N 0° 54.961'E

Inner Sea Area
1. 51° 31.282'N 0° 46.974'E
5. 51° 34.071'N 1° 2.239'E
9. 51° 35.933'N 0° 56.189'E
10. 51° 30.713'N 0° 52.386'E

Tips for navigating in the vicinity of the MOD Shoeburyness Range


  • contact the Range if you are unsure of the location of the Sea Danger Area.
  • contact the Range if you believe you have a legitimate reason to enter the Sea Danger Area.
  • inform Range Control when you exit the Sea Danger Area (if permission is granted by the Range for you to enter the Sea Danger Area).
  • follow any instructions issued by the crew of the Range Safety Boat which operates in the vicinity of the Sea Danger Area.
  • make fellow mariners aware of this guidance.


  • assume that hugging the coast and not contacting the Range will keep you safe. MOD Shoeburyness is a live firing range and there is a very real risk of serious injury if you ignore these guidelines.
  • assume that the Sea Danger Area is safe simply because you can’t see or hear any activity.
  • press on regardless if you have not been given permission to enter the Sea Danger Area.