Archive for September, 2017

LOCAL CRACKDOWN ON SPEEDING BOATS

 

Tel: 01803 861368 Email: communications@swdevon.gov.uk

 

Rise in Speeding on Salcombe Harbour

 

The Salcombe Harbour Office reports that there has been an unwelcome rise in the number of vessels caught speeding this year, within Salcombe Harbour and surrounding areas.

Despite the highest allowed speed in the harbour being 8 knots (9 mph), some vessels have been stopped for travelling at speeds of over 30 knots (35 mph).  The areas affected by speeding are Salcombe Harbour, including the estuary right up to Kingsbridge, the ‘Bar’ and Harbour entrance but also in South Pool Creek and Widegates.

The Salcombe Harbour Master, Adam Parnell said: “My team has stopped 35 boats for speeding, and some have been travelling so fast that our patrol boat, which can do in excess of 35 knots, has struggled to catch up.

“We know that this number represents the tip of the iceberg. We receive many calls and emails from members of the public who witness speeding, but unfortunately they often don’t tell us until hours or even days later, so it’s often too late to do anything about it.”

To deal with the rise in speeding, the Harbour Authority is increasing additional speeding patrols both at the Bar and in Widegates. “It appears that not only are these vessels speeding, but they’re not even aware of who and what is around them, and that’s a real concern,” said the Assistant Harbour Master, Cameron Sims-Stirling.

“What is particularly disappointing,” said Cllr Julian Brazil, Chairman of the Harbour Authority, “is that many of the vessels the team stop, are actually locals who should know better.”

All vessels caught speeding were given either a verbal or written warning, but in the worst cases, they received a formal interview under caution.

“A lot of people don’t realise that speeding is regulated by Harbour Bye-laws, a breach of which is a prosecutable criminal offence” said the Harbour Master. “Unlike speeding in a car, which is a civil offence, the helm of a speeding vessel can end up with a criminal record and be fined up to £1000.”

“They don’t realise the damage that their wake is causing behind them.  We’ve had reports of paddle-boarders being washed off their boards and smaller vessels capsized.” The Authority is particularly concerned at reports from local marine businesses that the poor behaviour of a few is having on the reputation of Salcombe as a safe harbour, with paddle-board companies concerned for the safety of their customers.

Anyone witnessing a speeding vessel is strongly encouraged to report it to the Harbour Office as soon as possible so that the appropriate action can be taken.  You can report this by phone on: 01548 843791 or by Twitter @Salcombeharbour.

ENDS

BEACH CLEAN: Bigbury-on-Sea

If you’d like to help keep the beaches around the estuary free of  rubbish, you can come along on Saturday 30th September at 10.00am for a 1 – hour beach clean.  The event is being organised by Amanda Keetley from ‘Less Plastic’ in association with ‘Surfers against Sewage’ and is being supported by Venus cafe, who will be providing free tea/coffee for volunteers (please BYO reusable mug!).

Meet on the beach below the free (surfers) car park, at the bottom of Folly Hill at 10.00am.   HW will be around 1350.  Please come suitably attired and observe our usual safety precautions (see guidelines at http://auneconservation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/ACA-BEACH-CLEANS3.pdf).  Gloves and bags will be provided.

Here is the link on Amanda’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/319088615222660

I hope to see you there!