Queens Harbour Master Notice to Mariners No 30 of 2020
1. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN by the Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth that following the Government’s revised social distancing measures aimed at reducing the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus, we are continuing to review our advice to recreational boaters in concert with industry bodies and the regional ports and harbours. Further clarity is currently being sought from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport who are setting details of how facility operators and water users will be required to comply, and our advice will be updated in line with this guidance.
2. In the meantime, QHM Portsmouth continues to operate an open port policy, the primary purpose of which is to protect defence output and commercial activity including vital transport, trade routes, and industry. Some leisure facility providers within the Dockyard Port are considering the feasibility of re-opening while addressing how to manage constraints which may be imposed to meet the Government’s requirements. Individuals whose circumstances permit them access to the water are encouraged to consider the following:
- Whether your activity is being carried out in conformance with Government regulations for social distancing and exercise, including on the shore when accessing the water?
- Whether sufficient maintenance has been conducted on your vessel to ensure it remains serviceable and seaworthy, reducing the risk of needing external assistance?
- Any other aspects which increase the risk of depending on emergency responders including experience levels and prevailing conditions.
- The fact that at present there are no RNLI lifeguards on beaches, no Volunteer Harbour Patrol in Portsmouth Harbour, and although volunteer lifeboat crews are fully operational should they be needed, it is important that anyone visiting the coast understands the risk and takes the necessary steps to keep themselves safe.
3. LNTM 24/20 is hereby superseded.