The official website of Virgin Gorda, BVI
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Ports of Entry

Ports of entry are located in Road Harbour - Tortola, West End Harbour - Tortola, Great Harbour - Jost Van Dyke and St. Thomas Bay - Virgin Gorda.

All vessels entering the territory must clear with BVI Customs and Immigration immediately upon arrival into the territory.

Customs and Immigration offices are located on Tortola in Road Town and West End, on Virgin Gorda at the Virgin Gorda Yacht Harbour, and on Jost Van Dyke in Great Harbour.

Required documents include: ships papers and valid passports for all crew and passengers from their country of origin U.S. and Canadian citizens will need a passport or an original or notarized copy of their birth certificate and photo ID to enter the BVI. To re-enter the U.S. or Canada, you will need a passport OR a photo ID and Dept. of State official proof of application for a passport, or a "passport receipt". Visitors from some countries may also require a visa for entry.

Marina

The Leverick Bay Marina on Virgin Gorda has facilities to accommodate long-term regulars, transients, yachts and live-aboards.

The marina has water, fuel stations & include full boat yards, haul-out facilities, chandleries, and support businesses for the industry. Contact the Leverick Bay Marina for reservations, pricing, entry regulations, customs and immigration offices, arrival procedures, marina rules, and other specific information.

VI Search & Rescue

Virgin Islands Search and Rescue (VISAR) is a voluntary organisation dedicated to saving life at sea in the waters around the British Virgin Islands.

VISAR provides 24-hour coverage every day of the year, in cooperation with the Royal British Virgin Islands police, fire and ambulance services. VISAR also has a close working relationship with the United States Coast Guard, and is internationally recognised by the International Lifeboat Federation (ILF) as a full member.

VISAR is an independent, volunteer-based organisation funded almost entirely by charitable donations.

Since it was formed in 1988, VISAR has carried out well over 300 search and rescue missions, helped more than 1,200 people in distress, and saved over 200 lives. Although VISAR is not a mobile ambulance service, its crews are skilled in handling medical emergencies of every kind. These have involved injuries sustained in accidents on board or while exploring ashore, and problems encountered while snorkelling, diving or swimming, including occasionally life-threatening reactions to jelly fish stings or sudden illness.

VISAR's volunteers come from all walks of life. They undergo rigorous training in seamanship and small boat-handling skills, as well search and rescue techniques and first aid, including CPR.
They give up their own time to train and answer distress calls with nothing in return except the satisfaction of knowing that they are performing a vital job. With the significant growth in charter yachting and boating in the BVI, the demand for VISAR's service has growing annually.

Anchorages

The beautiful, clear waters of Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands offer countless anchorages. Sailors should use caution when anchoring to prevent damage to fragile coral reefs. Where mooring buoys are not provided, sailors should anchor in sandy areas and be sure to never sail at night. Nightfall arrives quickly, and even the most experienced sailors in the BVI do not sail past dusk.

Although we have listed several accepted anchorages throughout the islands, it is recommended that current navigational charts be used when cruising and anchoring in the BVI waters. U.S. National Ocean Service (NOAA), U.S. Defense Mapping Agency, British Admiralty and Imray produce charts for the area. Electronic charts are available from C-Map, BSB/NOAA, Garmin G-Map, Laser Plot, Maptech, Navionics and Northstar.

Moorings

In order for sailors to enjoy the many beautiful sites both above and below the water, The BVI National Parks Trust has installed over 200 mooring buoys (surface buoys attached to stainless steel pins set in bedrock) for day-time use only at many BVI dive sites.

The system has been operating since 1991, and is aimed at protecting the fragile, underwater marine ecology from physical damage, particularly by boat anchors, and at maintaining the pristine reefs for the future.

There is a 90-minute time limit on all moorings, and use is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Vessels over 55 feet in length or over 35 tons are not allowed to use any regular mooring, but they can use the larger yellow buoys, which are 18 inches in diameter.

Please note that in virtually all of the areas where the National Parks Trust moorings are found, the areas can encounter rough, and unpredictable seas. In addition, some buoys are in the vicinity of shallow rocks and reefs. The moorings are, therefore, for DAY USE only, and it is illegal to use them overnight.

Sailors must check the integrity of their mooring, its pick-up line, and down-line for safety before tying up or leaving the vessel. They are responsible for the vessel, even when tied to a National Parks mooring.

A small fee is charged for the use of the moorings. This conservation fee provides for the maintenance of the system and installation of new buoys in other high traffic areas.

Sailors must, by law, obtain a National Parks Permit, either from the charter company when Customs is cleared, or from the National Parks Trust Office at 61 Main St. Road Town, Tortola.

The mooring buoys are 13 inches in diameter and are colour coded as follows:

ORANGE BUOYS: Non-diving, day use only
YELLOW BUOYS: Commercial dive vessels only
LARGE YELLOW BUOYS: Commercial vessels or vessels over 55 ft.
WHITE BUOYS: Non-commercial vessels, for daytime dive use only
BLUE BUOYS: For dinghy use only