Update from Exeter Port Authority – 12th May 2020

12 May 2020

Recreational activities on and around the Exeter Ship Canal and Exe Estuary

We have received a high number of calls from members of the public keen to get back out on the water. We are working through the detail with the United Kingdom Harbour Masters Association, British Ports Association, RYA, British Marine and the UK Government to clarify what the latest announcement means for the Exeter Ship Canal and Exe Estuary, and our marine operations and policies.

Recreational sailing has not been specifically mentioned in the recovery strategy issued by the Government. However, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are expected to issue guidance later this week that should include advice on water sports in England. As part of our continued commitment to the health, safety and welfare of our workforce, harbour users and their families, Exeter Port Authority will continue to follow government guidance and the advice of governing bodies and authorities, to ensure correct measures are put in place to protect our water users.

At this stage our advice is to stay off the water. However, whilst the situation is unclear and the British Ports Association is seeking clarity from the Department for Transport we would ask that if you are considering going afloat from tomorrow that you take the following into account:

  • Government advice states that leisure activities are allowed provided you do not meet up with more than one other person from outside your household and that you maintain a 2 metre distance from people outside your household.
  • Follow the relevant guidance from National Governing Bodies of sports which can be found on the relevant web sites.
  • A statement from the RNLI issued today stipulated “At present, there are no RNLI lifeguards on beaches and although our 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. This will also help to reduce the demands placed on our lifeboat crews and other emergency services including HM Coastguard.” The full statement from the RNLI and their latest safety advice for anyone planning to visit the coast can be found on the RNLI website.

Exeter Port Authority thank our harbour users for their understanding and patience and we will advise you if there is any further specific advice relating to marine leisure.

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