Maritime safety put into spotlight

Small sail and power boats moored in harbour
  • new campaign to highlight the dangers of drinking and boating
  • consultation also being launched on the safety of jet skis
  • part of the first Maritime Safety Action Plan, working to cut deaths on the water

People who drink while boating will be the focus of a new government campaign to improve safety on the water.

The campaign, targeting recreational boaters, is part of the first Maritime Safety Action plan, published today (1 July 2019) by the Department for Transport.

It sets ambitious targets for reducing and eliminating preventable deaths, while also setting out the work the government and its agencies are already doing – marking the start of the inaugural Maritime Safety Week.

A consultation will also be held later this year on the safety of personal watercraft – such as jet skis – to ensure lives are not endangered by negligent users.

Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani said:

Keeping people safe on or around water is at the heart of everything we do.

This plan is rightly ambitious in setting out how we will reduce the number of fatalities on our waterways as quickly as possible.

Our campaign will also reach those who don’t use boats that often, and who may need reminding of the risks they are taking when they drink and sail.

It is hoped that the first ever Maritime Safety Action Plan will help cut preventable fishing deaths by 2027 and half drowning by 2026.

Maritime Safety Week, which starts today, will focus on a number of different elements of safety on the water, including fishing vessel safety.

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has also pledged to carry out a review of its decision-making to ensure it follows recommendations set out by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch, which looks into the causes of fatalities at sea.

The plan comes as one of the first actions from Maritime 2050, which was published in January and is the government’s long-term strategy to keep the UK as a world leader in the sector for decades to come.

/Public Release. View in full here.