Until further notice:

From 15.00 on Wednesday 13th May 2020 recreational boat owners (using any type of vessel, whether motorised or not) are permitted to use their boats in local waters for recreational purposes as part of their daily exercise and recreation away from their homes, but not for overnight accommodation. Boat skippers may only be accompanied by persons permanently residing at the same address or, where the vessel is sufficiently large to maintain social distancing, with one other person from a different household.

DEFRA issued guidance on 13 May 2020:

This follows the publication, earlier this week, of Government’s COVID-19 recover strategy for England which provided key information regarding what the population can do away from their homes. This included:

  • spending time outdoors, including exercise, alone, with your household, or with one person who is not in your household as long as you stay two metres apart
  • exercising more than once a day
  • taking part in other outdoor sports and activities, on your own, with your household, or with one other person while adhering to social distancing rules
  • driving to outdoor open spaces, including beaches and beauty spots, irrespective of distance. You should travel in a private vehicle, alone or with members of your own household.

With effect from 15.00 hours on the 13th May 2020:-

  • Resident berths and moorings operated by Lymington Harbour Commissioners (LHC) will reopen to facilitate boating activities.
  • Overnight visitor berths and facilities operated by LHC will remain closed as Government guidance excludes overnight stays away from home.
  • Short stay visitor berths will be open, on an advance booking basis only.
  • Boat owners can move boats to their annual residential mooring or long stay temporary mooring, including from other marinas and yards in the region.
  • The Bath Road slipway will re-open for launching and recovering.

It is incumbent on LHC and other operators of marine facilities in Lymington Harbour to look after the safety of users and importantly the safety of their staff. In respect of our own facilities, LHC have put in place the following measures and advice:

  • Please follow social distancing guidance (stay 2 metres apart where possible). Pontoons and slipway are being marked to assist. Please see signage at each location.
  • Please wash your hands regularly.
  • Rescues pose a risk to both the casualty and the rescuer and there is likely to be reduced rescue response capacity in the Harbour. Please ensure that your craft is well maintained and that you sail within the limits of your abilities. Please have in mind that the RNLI have issued a statement as follows:
    “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.”

Please note that the advice contained here is very new and Lymington Harbour Commission and other marine businesses around the river will need to adjust their routines and ensure that the risk from infection of COVID 19 can be reduced by maintenance of social distancing guidelines and other measures. Please be considerate and allow officers time to assess the level of service they are able to provide. This is for your safety and that of our staff, the emergency services and the NHS.

Lymington Harbour Commission will continue to review the situation and any new Government guidance. We appreciate your continued support in maintaining safe and efficient port operations whilst being able enjoy the benefits of getting afloat.

Ryan Willegers
Harbour Master & Chief Executive

13th May 2020

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