Two visiting yachts arrived into Dublin Bay on Easter Sunday afternoon despite COVID-19 emergency restrictions that have closed the town marina at Dun Laoghaire, shut down all local boating activity and put the harbour into lockdown under Government guidelines.
A northeasterly gale is forecast this evening and even though new travel restrictions have been extended to include “the arrival of personal non-national maritime leisure vessels", a visitor can avail of 'port of refuge exemption' if required under the Dept of Health and Dept of Transport COVID-19 regulations.
The first yacht (with GBR Sail insignia) moored at the East bight at Dun Laoghaire at noon. The other visitor, with reefed mainsail and flying the UK's red ensign, tacked around Sandycove and Dalkey in the south of the Bay.
Easter represents the start of the boating season at Dun Laoghaire Harbour but with all four yacht clubs closed and the lift in of boats cancelled too, the waterfront that should typically be a hive of activity was instead silent.
Afloat sources understand one of the boats is hoping to resupply in Dun Laoghaire and its final destination is Scotland.
The Coastguard and RNLI have asked boaters to stay off the water to assist emergency services during the COVID-19 crisis. It is an advisory message that appears to have been well observed on Dublin Bay at least, save for one or two stand-up paddleboards (SUP) and a small number of coastal kayakers during Saturday's sunshine.