Agenda item

Technical Harbour Operations Update


CB advised the new members of his role as the assistant harbour master.

CB had been working with MB to set up a database for the moor holders, new signage and to continue with the relevant safety checks.

He had received reports of anti-social behaviour from the Police.  Some fishermen in Watchet had given verbal abuse when asked to stop fishing due to the sea scouts using the harbour.  CB gave reassurance that the Police could and would attend in those types of situation to offer assistance.

The fishing stakes were still an ongoing issue.  CB had seen the owners but had not been in the position to approach them at that time.

MS highlighted that IFCA gave the rights on fishing stakes, but the location of the fishing stakes were a concern to boats entering the harbour and should be addressed by SWT as it was the council’s responsibility to give safe route into the harbour.

PP queried whether SWT could write to the owners and ask for their removal.  CH suggested that legal advice should be sought on this to ensure we had the power to request that.

CB advised that in previous years both the Balmoral and the Waverley had visited Minehead.  The Waverley was due to return in September 2019, however, the Balmoral was now out of service.  MS advised that the Balmoral was also out of service.  CB had not been informed.

CB advised that the cyclist that he had previously reported to the Board was now being prosecuted and he was awaiting an outcome.

He advised that some of the outstanding jobs that had been passed to the Maintenance Team were on hold due to other pressures within the authority.

MS chased the maintenance plan for Watchet slipway because the algae that formed on the slipway could become very dangerous.  CB would check and suggested the use of a spray to help keep the algae at a minimal level.

CB gave an update on the inflatable swan incident that occurred at Minehead beach.  The Board were advised that because Minehead was not an EU registered beach, a red flag did not have to be flown.  IC read out a comment from the minutes for the Harbour Board meeting held in December 2018 that related to the red flag and a previous concern raised.  CB suggested that warning signs could be used instead, he raised concern that a red flag could impact on the tourism trade in the area.  PP queried whose responsibility it was to raise the flag.  CB advised he was potentially his responsibility.  MS raised concern on the wording on the signs along the seafront about the use of red flags.  IC gave information on an incident that occurred where a paddling pool was involved in a rescue.  TV highlighted that the red flags were used as an advisory to members of the public.  CB raised concern on the time that would be spent putting up and taking down the red flags.  He had spoken with the Lifeboat crews and the Coastguard and neither of whom were willing to take on the responsibility.  CB suggested flying the flags all the time and that the wording on the signs needed to be amended.  MS suggested the use of a windsock and that the signs were amended.  CH suggested that the decision should be made by the H&S Specialist. 

MS highlighted that the WHAC had made a recommendation that SWT recruited a full time assistant harbour master to cover both Minehead and Watchet harbours.

TV raised concern on how customers paid their mooring fees when CB was not in the area.  CB confirmed that customers used the honesty box when he was not there.