#WATER SAFETY - The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has published a Marine Notice addressed to all pleasure and recreational craft owners, masters and users to remind the public of the law in relation to being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs when operating or being on board a vessel in Irish waters.
The 2010 Annual Report of the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) highlighted the dangers inherent in excessive alcohol consumption while on board or operating a vessel and emphasised the relevant legislation under the Pleasure Craft (Personal Flotation Devices and Operation) (Safety) Regulations.
While operating a pleasure craft, being towed or on board any floating vessel, it is against the law to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs or any combination of drugs or of drugs and alcohol to such an extent as to be incapable of having proper control of the craft.
It is also against the law to consume alcohol or drugs in circumstances which could affect the safety of others on board or others using Irish waters, or create a disturbance on board or be a nuisance to others using Irish waters.
It is a requirement for the master or owner of a pleasure craft to take all reasonable steps to ensure that persons comply with the regulations.
The Maritime Safety Act 2005 also contains a range of provisions relating to the prohibition on operating a vessel in Irish waters while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the breaking of which can lead to fines of up to €5,000 and up to three months' imprisonment.
Full details are outlined in Marine Notice No 56 of 2012, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.