Although the sealock is available 24hrs a day, access is dependant upon the tide since the outer harbour dies. If the weather's foul, waiting outside the harbour for enough water can be uncomfortable, and its perhaps best to make for Workingham which has 24hrs access in most conditions. For most cases however, access to the sea lock is about ±4hrs HW and there is a dredged channel which runs close to the North Pier and all the way to the sea lock. Incoming vessels should contact the Harbour Office/Sealock Radio Call Sign "Whitehaven Harbour" Marine VHF Channel 12 for berthing instructions.
Passage through the sea lock is controlled by traffic signals:
GREEN GREEN GREEN (vert): vessel may enter
RED RED RED (vert): no entry/closed
Flash RED RED RED (vert): emergency abort
At limited periods either side of HW there is a free flow through the lock. On transit through the lock, your swipe card (for the marina facilities) and berthing instructions are sometimes lowered to you in a bag. The inner harbour is maintained to a depth of 5.5m