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Donegal boaters face new legislation

13th October 2008

Donegal County Council is to use the Maritime Safety Act 2005 to create a bye-law that could prohibit recreational craft and Personal watercraft being used in certain waters (initially 14) around the Donegal coast.


 

A public notice in the local press byelaw referred to jet skis but now boaters in the area fear that the bye-law will affect all pleasure craft.

The local press advert said: “prohibit the launching and operation of certain maritime craft including personal watercraft (more commonly referred to as Jet Skis) in waters off certain beaches in the county”

But “recreational craft” as defined in the Maritime Safety Act 2005 could extend to a large number of boats. The act says   “recreational craft” means a craft of not more than 24 metres in length (measured in accordance with the ISO standard EN ISO8666:2002 — Small craft — Principal data) intended for sports and leisure purposes.

Donegal sailors also say  traditional safe moorings could be scheduled as prohibited waters, these including Downings Harbour and Marblehill in Sheephaven bay, and at Rathmullen on Lough Swilly, all traditional boating spots.

"Both trailer sailors and visiting yachts need to be made aware of where they aren’t welcome, the fines start at €1000" said a local.

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