Plymouth Harbour Authorities to clamp down on the use of alcohol afloat during this year’s fireworks display

14 Aug 2023

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 year, during the fireworks displays, within the Cattewater and Plymouth Sound numerous cases of excessive alcohol and substance misuse onboard observing craft were reported, resulting in a number of near miss incidents, including persons in the water. These could have easily resulted in more 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.

Ahead of this week’s British Fireworks Championships the Statutory Harbour Authorities in Plymouth are reminding vessels owners, masters and crew of the Dockyard Port of Plymouth Order (2020) Schedule 1 Part 1 Point 8, which regulates the Port of Plymouth, and is very clear and that 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.”

Mariners under the influence may receive a criminal record, as well as potentially facing a fine up to £1000 plus legal costs.

Harbour Authorities and MOD Police are the enforcing authorities and have the authority to prosecute under the above legislation and will be actively enforcing the legislation to ensure the safety and enjoyment of other water users.

To learn more about viewing the event from the water please follow the below link.

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 relayed on behalf of all the Statutory Harbour Authorities in Plymouth. (HALC)