Yesterday (13th May), government have confirmed that “all forms of water sports practiced on open waterways, including sailing, windsurfing, canoeing, rowing, kayaking, surfing, paddle-boarding and the use of privately-owned motorised craft (in line with the guidance issued by the relevant navigation authority) are allowed”.

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.

Accordingly with effect from 15.00 hours on the 13th May 2020 I can confirm that in line with Local Notice to Mariners No 2/2020:-

  • Lymington Harbour remains open to vessels operating in accordance with Government guidance.
  • Resident berths and moorings operated by Lymington Harbour Commissioners will reopen to facilitate boating activities.
  • Overnight visitor berths and facilities operated by Lymington Harbour. Commissioners 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 Lymington Harbour Commissioners (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.”

The Harbour Office also remains closed with most of our administration team working from home unless absolutely essential. We would be grateful if non-urgent enquiries can be made through email at 

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

14th May 2020

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