DEFRA, via British Marine, have today published the following statement, announcing that all forms of boating (leisure and commercial) will be permitted from 4th July.
“British Marine is delighted to confirm that from the 4th July, all forms of boating, including skippered charter and passenger boat operations can recommence, subject to all relevant COVID-19 guidance being followed.
Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Government’s priority has been, and remains, to save lives. Following the latest announcement by the Prime Minister on 23 June, which marked a significant further easing of the lockdown restrictions to come into effect on 4 July, the Government has decided to withdraw the guidance on ‘Using a boat inland and on the coast’ from 4 July.
Latest Government guidance on COVID-19 can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.
Individuals and boating operators are responsible for conducting a risk assessment drawing on the relevant sources of Government guidance on COVID-19. In particular operators and individuals should consider:
• Working Safely during coronavirus
• Staying alert and safe (social distancing) after 4 July
• Meeting People Outside Your House
• Staying Safe Outside Your Home
• Safer transport guidance for operators
• Safer travel guidance for passengers
• Phased return of outdoor sport and recreation
Cattewater Harbour Commissioners are delighted to welcome visitors and water users to their new pontoon at Commercial Wharf on the Barbican to celebrate Mayflower 400.
The Cattewater Harbour Commissioners (CHC), with support from Plymouth City Council, have installed a new dinghy pontoon on Commercial wharf, opening up access to the Barbican and city centre from the water.
Showing their support for Mayflower 400, CHC have responded to feedback from stakeholders and leisure users and installed this pontoon as a gift to the city. It opens up the city to visiting leisure yachts as well as providing direct access to the Barbican for local leisure users who make use of the waters within the Cattewater.
When Covid -19 guidelines permit, visitors to Plymouth will be able to book one of the newly installed visitor moorings to the North of Mount Batten Breakwater, and tender ashore to the dinghy pontoon to visit the historic waterfront and its attractions, shop and make use of the many local restaurants and amenities.
Vessels less than 4m in length are welcome, the pontoon dries at low water so please check the tides before leaving your dinghy to go ashore. Social distancing guidelines should be adhered to when on the pontoon.
Speaking ahead of the pontoon’s opening, Cattewater Habour Master, Captain Richard Allan said:
“Cattewater Harbour Commissioners are delighted to be able to provide the city of Plymouth with this new seasonal pontoon. We believe it enhances the opportunities for the local community to make the most of the Cattewater Harbour, and the Plymouth Sound. It also provides an additional option for visiting yachts to easily access the city centre if they choose a mooring rather than a marina.”
“We take our historic role in the city very seriously and are pleased to be able to make another contribution to the Mayflower 400 legacy and the city of Plymouth. It made sense to us to enable easier access from the water for resident water users and visitors alike as our way of marking this important celebration, as well as helping local businesses who are reopening after lockdown”
“We look forward to welcoming you to the pontoon in the future.”
Notes to Editors:
For further information, please contact the Harbour Master on: 01752 665934 or HM@plymouthport.org.uk
Cattewater Harbour Commissioners exist by Act of Parliament as the navigation and conservancy authority for the Cattewater Harbour, as well as civil pilotage authority for the Port of Plymouth.
CHC have worked closely with Plymouth City Council who provided a contribution towards the installation of the RSJ fittings.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has today (11th June 2020) published guidance on inland and coastal boating to protect yourselves and others from coronavirus.
This boating specific guidance can be accessed here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-using-a-boat-inland-and-on-the-coast?utm_source=79e42c4a-307c-498e-ae14-be4e9f4c8a7f&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate#skippered-day-boat-hire-and-skippered-day-charter-hire
Following a series of tragic incidents around the South West coast over the past few days, we would like to stress to port users that although the waterways remain open and recreational water activities are now permitted, users should ensure they take the necessary precautions to prevent themselves getting into difficulty.
To prevent additional strain on Coastguard Teams, Lifeboats, and other emergency services at these unprecedented times, we encourage all water users to follow the simple advice below:
- Check your vessel / craft before going afloat, including that it is watertight, has sufficient (and reserve) clean fuel, has clean filters, and that the engine is run prior to departing your berth/launch site.
- Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid https://rnli.org/safety/lifejackets.
- Where fitted, wear the Killcord.
- Check the weather forecast and tide times, to ensure you don’t get caught out. Met Office Weather Tide Times
- If swimming, swim with a buddy, within your own ability, and only swim in the dedicated swimming areas when inside port limits (Cawsand, Bovisand, Tinside, Firestone Bay). There is no swimming in the Cattewater.
- Tell someone ashore where you are going and when you will be back.
- Carry a means of calling for help (VHF Radio, or mobile phone in waterproof case).
- If you get into or see someone else in difficulty, call the Coastguard VHF 16 (or dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard).
In addition, over recent days we have seen a number of ‘near misses’ in the Port which could have easily resulted in serious injuries to water users. When using the waterways, obey the rules and be considerate to other water users.
We encourage members of the public to report cases of anti-social behaviour on the water, to allow us to investigate and take action where appropriate. Any incidents or near misses occurring in the harbour must also be reported to the harbour office.
More RNLI Safety Advice is available here https://rnli.org/safety.
Enjoy your time afloat, be considerate to other users, and take steps to keep yourself safe.
Following this mornings Government update we welcome a return to recreational water use.
All forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft are now permitted under the new guidance (found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-guidance-on-access-to-green-spaces)
We fully endorse the RYA statement below, and ask water users to remain flexible as further specific guidance will be given in due course.
“As we start to get back on the water, we advise boaters to take a considerate and conservative approach when planning to go afloat; be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and do not place unnecessary extra strain on the RNLI and emergency services. Finally, proper preparation will prevent accidents and is a vital step to getting back on the water safely.”
If you are launching from a shoreside facility or using a Marina, please be patient with the facility’s decisions that have been taken to protect the safety of the facilities staff and users.
Please also ensure you follow the guidelines on social distancing below and staying safe.
We have been following the Government’s advice in respect of Coronavirus and have measures in place to limit risks to port users, our staff, emergency services and the public.
As the country moves towards the easing of certain provisions of the lockdown there is an understandable interest from many leisure users who want to get back out onto the water. Whilst we are also keen to see this when advised safe to do so, we need to assess the Government’s latest guidance in respect of what activities will be permitted.
It is expected that a certain number of water based leisure activities will be permitted from Wednesday 13th May, however we are waiting for confirmation of this from government.
Furthermore when facilities reopen, and water based activity is permitted stakeholders should be aware that arrangements to preserve social distancing will be needed. This means that there are likely to be certain measures that the facilities will need to enforce to follow the guidance, and more importantly keep each other, and staff safe.
In the meantime we thank you for your patience and support.
We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will advise of any further updates or clarification during the course of today.
Captain Richard Allan
Harbour Master and Chief Executive
Cattewater Harbour Commissioners