Cowes Harbour Commission (CHC) thanks harbour users for abiding by the Cowes Local Notice to Mariners advice on recreational boating during the Coronavirus pandemic and reinforces the stay at home message to boaters ahead of the Easter break.
Cowes Harbour Commission has reported that the majority of yachtsmen are abiding by the recommendations in CHC’s latest Notice to Mariners, which calls on recreational boaters to adhere to the Government’s restrictions regarding social distancing and essential travel only.
Cowes Local Notice to Mariners No. 10(T) of 2020, issued on 3rd April, also supports the guidance from the Royal Yachting Association (RYA), who have stressed the risk of boat owners placing further and avoidable pressure on the emergency services if something should go wrong whilst leisure users are on the water. These are exceptional times and CHC has reiterated the RYA’s call to all recreational boaters to act responsibly and adhere to the Government’s regulations to help limit the spread of Coronavirus/COVID-19.
Cowes Harbour Master Capt. Stuart McIntosh said: “We ask all harbour users to continue to follow the Government’s instructions and the spirit of those instructions by staying at home, notwithstanding the approaching Easter bank holidays and current fair weather. Along with the Hampshire Police Marine Support Unit, we are reminding the public that going out on the water rarely fits into the Government’s four criteria for being out and about. Any vessel that gets into trouble causes unnecessary contact with waterborne emergency rescue agencies and takes them away from dealing with issues on essential commercial vessels.”
During this time, Cowes Harbour Commission continues to carry out its statutory responsibilities and duties as Harbour Authority for Cowes, maintaining a safe harbour and safety of navigation for mainland ferries bringing key workers, supplies and fuel to the Island and for all essential imports and exports by commercial vessels. CHC also operates the only commercial fuel berth supply for water-based emergency assets on the Island.
“Whilst now is unfortunately not the time to go boating in Cowes due to the Coronavirus outbreak,” said Capt. Stuart McIntosh, “we would like to thank all our customers and harbour users for their support and understanding in following the Government’s guidance, and we hope to be able to return to our normal leisure boating activities before too long. For now our top priority is as always, safety in the harbour, so please follow the advice that has been given.”