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News - 01/06/22

Don’t drink and boat

There’s always a temptation on a sunny day to ‘have another one’, but just like drink driving, being under the influence of alcohol or drugs when in charge of a boat is not just socially unacceptable and potentially dangerous, it is also an offence.

Cowes Harbour General Direction 3.6.1 states that “No person shall navigate or attempt to navigate a vessel when unfit by reason of drink or drugs”.

Navigating a vessel whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs can be extremely dangerous, not just to yourself but also to other harbour users. It is also an offence under the Cowes Harbour General Directions for the master or owner of a vessel to knowingly cause or allow any person to navigate or attempt to navigate their vessel who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Unfortunately, over the last 3 years, Cowes Harbour Commission has prosecuted 2 people for contravening General Direction 3.6.1.

Alcohol and drugs can severely affect the perception of risk and ability. It affects balance, impairs judgement, and slows reactions, which can make even the most experienced mariner navigate a vessel unsafely. If you feel that you cannot safely navigate your vessel or shouldn’t navigate your vessel due to alcohol/drugs, then for your safety and the safety of other harbour users, get someone else to pilot.