Two new Harbour Directions introduced in Falmouth’s waters
Falmouth Harbour Commissioners (FHC) has introduced two new harbour directions for Falmouth’s waters.
The bathing zone in Falmouth Bay, which covers the areas off Gyllyngvase, Castle, Swanpool and Maenporth beaches, will be extended to 250 metres off shore (below the mean low water mark). The previous four-knot speed limit, applied 100 metres off shore, was the first direction adopted by the Commissioners in 2015. The extension comes following public feedback and a public consultation.
The second direction to be put in place is the introduction of a maximum speed limit of 30 knots, for the well-used, confined waters of the Carrick Roads.
The independent Port User Group*, which was created specifically to consider such directions in line with the agreed Code of Practice, reviewed both of the proposals prior to the public being invited to comment in August 2016. The Port User Group reviewed the directions, taking into account the responses by the public, and made a recommendation to the Board that they were adopted.
Mark Sansom, Harbour Master and Chief Executive, Falmouth Harbour Commissioners, said: “Being granted the Power of Harbour Direction in 2015 has enabled us to create three directions to date, tailored specifically to the requirements of Falmouth Harbour and users of the port.
He added: “Response to our first direction – introducing a bathing area speed limit – has been positive but we have received requests to extend the area. We can now legally enforce speed restrictions 250 metres off shore, improving safety for bathers using the beaches.
“We have also put a Carrick Roads maximum speed limit in place as a barrier to excessively high speeds in a restricted waterway. We had a number of responses to the consultation, which we have taken into consideration, and recognise that some people consider that the speed limit should be lower. For this reason, the Board accepted the recommendation from the Port User Group that the direction should be reviewed after 12 months. We are keen to emphasise that this 30 knot limit is the maximum permitted speed. Vessel masters have an obligation to navigate at a safe speed at all times taking into account the prevailing conditions.”