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Beach and water services

Port of Tyne

Traditionally, the Port of Tyne was famous for its coal exports but the radical changes in the UK's mining industry during the 1990s created an urgent need to diversify to remain viable.

Today, the results of a decade of development and £100 million of investment has culminated in being named Port Operator of the Year in the Lloyd's List London Awards 2008 and are clearly seen in the Port's five commercial business areas, its three rail terminals and its modern international cruise and passenger terminal building.

For more information please visit

Beach and foreshore

South Tyneside Council are responsible for the management of the foreshore including both Sandhaven and Littlehaven beaches.

Web: Beaches and Coast 
Tel: 0191 424 7989

Blue Flag Beaches

Beaches are awarded the Blue Flag based on compliance with 32 criteria covering the following:

  1. Environmental Education and Information
  2. Water Quality
  3. Environmental Management
  4. Safety and Services

All Blue Flags are awarded for one season at a time.

If the criteria are not fulfilled during the season or the conditions change, the Blue Flag may be withdrawn. For more information visit Blue Flag Beaches

In 2016 Sandhaven beach was awarded the Blue Flag Award, along with a Seaside Award for cleanliness. It was first awarded Blue Flag status in 1988. It was also classed as Excellent for the bathing water quality in the Good Beach Guide by the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Dogs and Beaches

On 1st June 2009 a Dog Control Order came into force that excludes dogs from Sandhaven beach between the hours of 8am and 6pm during the period 1 May to 30 September each year.

A person in charge of any dog contravening the Order will be guilty of an offence and liable to a fixed penalty of £80 (reduced to £50 if paid within 7 days).

If the fine is not paid, the council will prosecution at Magistrates' Court, where those found guilty of committing an offence can be fined a maximum of £1,000 (current rate).

Whilst it is appreciated that some dog owners will control their animals properly and like to exercise them in the area, there have frequently been incidents in the past associated with dog dirt, and the object of this Order is to protect and  enhance the quality of the Blue Flag bathing beach during the tourist and holiday seasons.  

Any complaints or enquiries can be directed to the Customer Contact Centre in the first instance on 0191 427 7000

Boat launching ramp


The Council operates a launching ramp on the River Tyne adjacent to South Shields Sailing Club off Harbour Drive. You will need a licence and appropriate insurance.

Charges as of 1 October 2016 are:

  • £29.05 for one day licence
  • £71.30 per year, plus £20 registration (club)
  • £96.65 per year, plus £20 registration (private)

Licences are available from the Visitor Information Centre:

Visitor Information Centre,
Shop @ The Word,
45 Market Place,
South Shields,
NE33 1JF

Open Monday - Thursday 9am - 6pm, Friday 9am - 5pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am - 4pm.

Tel: 0191 424 7788.

Boat launching ramp users group


South Tyneside Council maintain Water Safety equipment including lifebelts and throw-lines at a number of Foreshore and Riverside locations.


  • Pelaw Quay
  • Hebburn Marina
  • Hebburn Riverside
  • Jarrow Riverside
  • Mill Dam
  • Market Dock
  • Littlehaven Housing

If you notice any equipment missing or vandalised please contact 0191 427 7000 or email

Water sports


With our beautiful sandy coastline we have a fantastic range of water sports available.

For more information please see Visit South Tyneside.

Water sports licensing

Providers of certain adventure activities must undergo inspection of their safety management systems and become licensed.

More about Licensing

Tel: 0191 424 7949

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