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Harbour Master: Recreational use of the River Exe and canal must stop

Published: 31 March 2020

Recreational use of the River Exe and canal must stop  Recreational use of the River Exe and canal must stop

Recreational users of the River Exe and Exeter Canal are being asked to stop using the waterway.

Recreational use for things like leisure vessels, kite surfing and paddle boarding is not essential and could lead to a fine for those taking part.

Harbour Master Grahame Forshaw said: “Use of the River and Canal at this time for recreational purposes could put the ports staff and emergency services at unnecessary risk.”

He said guidance on the need for the public to attend to their own craft to ensure that they do not become the cause of an incident, like sinking, oil spill or other pollution, is less clear.

But owners should contact Exeter Port Authority if they have a concern about the safety of their vessel.  They should only consider visiting their vessels for safety critical checks, once consulting with the Exeter Port Authority by email or phone 07864 958658.

Exeter Port Authority manages the Exe estuary, and the position from the Harbour Master is clear. There should be no activity on the water except for commercial or safety-related instances. Ultimately those seen to be breaking the law will be responsible for their actions. 

Remember that there are far fewer people out on the water including those who normally monitor the River and Canal, report incidents and get involved in rescuing those in distress.

So if your activity is essential please wear life jackets/buoyancy aids and consider doing it when there are people around.

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