Alcohol and boating – near miss incidents

18 Aug 2022

City wide events such as the British Fireworks Championships are a fantastic opportunity for family and friends to get together and enjoy themselves on the water.

Last night during the fireworks, within the Cattewater and the Plymouth Sound it was reported that unfortunately numerous cases of excessive alcohol consumption took place onboard observing craft, resulting in a number of near miss incidents, which could have had serious consequences if the marshalling boats were not on station to assist casualties.

Alcohol can stop you thinking clearly, affect your co-ordination and suppress your natural response to fear and threats.

The Dockyard Port of Plymouth Order (2020) Schedule 1 Part 1 Point 8, which regulates the Port of Plymouth is very clear, and should be adhered to by mariners:

“The master of a vessel or any other person must not navigate within the dockyard port when under the influence of intoxicating drink, drugs and other substances.”

Harbour Authorities and MOD Police are the enforcing authorities and have the authority to prosecute under the above legislation.

The RYA position on alcohol and boating:

  • The RYA does not condone the drinking of alcohol whilst in charge of a boat and encourages boaters to act responsibly in this regard.
  • The RYA promotes safe recreational boating.
  • The RYA encourages boaters to behave responsibly and to understand how alcohol can affect their safety and the safety of others.
  • The RYA urges all boaters not to mix alcohol and boating

This message is on behalf of all the Statutory Harbour Authorities in Plymouth.