The Queen’s Harbour Master and Ministry of Defence Police are advising leisure water users to follow simple safety advice during the summer holidays.
Carl Necker, Queen’s Harbour Master (QHM) is keen for as many people as possible enjoying the waters of Plymouth Sound and the Tamar Estuaries. He says a few simple precautions and plans will help ensure everyone returns safely.
In particular, paddle boarders, windsurfers, kayakers, yachtsmen, powerboat and dinghy sailors are asked to ensure they are properly equipped and informed before going afloat.
Carl oversees the safe control and operation of the port and navigation of all ships and craft at all times in the Port of Plymouth with the support of the Ministry of Defence Police (MDP). Whilst primarily managing large military and commercial ships, QHM and MDP closely monitor use of the port by any recreational users and are available to help any in trouble on the water.
The MDP Marine Unit, led by Inspector Tony Micallef, has a fleet of boats on the water 24 hours a day in all weathers primarily protecting Devonport Naval Base. At the same time they are able to offer advice to recreational users and respond to tasks from the emergency services as well as assist HM Coast Guard and the RNLI.
Inspector Micallef says although his force primarily protects the naval base and warships and submarines entering and leaving the port, they also keeping an eye out for members of the public who may get into difficulty.
He said: “Regrettably, in the course of our work we come across boat users who are ill-equipped to be out on the sea. We would appeal to all boat owners who use this beautiful and busy harbour to treat the sea with respect. Don’t take fine weather or the reliability of your boat for granted. Take the right kit with you; if you need it, you need it with you, not at home.”
On behalf of QHM, the police also issue warnings, cautions and can prosecute water users who do not comply with the regulations for operating within the Port of Plymouth. These regulations and more detailed guidance for recreational users can be found on QHM’s web site: https://www.gov.uk/government/groups/qhm-plymouth