The sudden decision has 'caused a storm around the harbour'

Hoses have been

removed suddenly from Guernsey’s public marinas following a fear of health

risks.

Boat owners have

criticised the lack of consultation over the decision.

Guernsey Harbours, the authority responsible for ports in St. Peter Port and St. Sampsons, says quick action was necessary to protect the public.

It was feared the

communal hoses posed a risk of cross-contamination as harbour bosses could not

control whether they were used for drinking water, to unblock toilets or sewage

tanks or for cleaning boats and pets.

New Harbour

Master, Captain Chad Murray said the decision was made by the harbour

management and safety committee following a review of all harbour facilities.

He said:

‘Information is always becoming more readily available and one of the concerns

we had was for the potential of waterborne health risks, diseases, bacteria or

contamination.

‘We can’t, hand on

heart, control how these hoses are used by various boat owners and whether the

hoses are used to hose down boats, unblock toilets or sewage tanks or for washing down pets.

‘We felt this risk

of cross-contamination is there and the most effective way to prevent this

would be to remove the hoses so they can’t be the source of the risk.’

He added: ‘We’re

asking boat owners to use their own hoses. We’re aware many of them do have

their own hoses and they also have the knowledge of how those hoses are used.

‘We are asking the boat owners to take control of how they deliver the water provided.’

‘Causing a storm’

Local boatman Tony

Rive said: ‘This is definitely causing a storm around the harbour, that’s for

sure. It seems as though they’ve done it overnight.

‘The hoses have

been here ever since the pontoons were built in the 1980s.

‘As soon as people

come in they want access to fresh water but that’s what the harbour authority

is worried about, some people might be putting it in fresh water tanks without

running it through first and if water is lying in the hose in the heat of the

day it might be breeding bugs.’

Members of Guernsey Boatowners’ Association are upset that the

hoses had been removed ‘without any consultation whatsoever’.

A spokesman said members

questioned why the decision was not delayed until it could be discussed at

their next quarterly meeting with the Harbour Authority later this month.

Guernsey Harbours manage five marinas. The Albert Marina, Queen Elizabeth II Marina and Victoria

Marina in St Peter Port and the and the Inner and Outer Marina in St Sampsons.

Altogether

with the addition of drying moorings in Albert Dock, the Careening Hard

and the non drying moorings within the Pool, there are more than 2,300

berths and moorings.

Capt. Murray, who took over the post on 21 October, said they had needed to act

quickly to protect the public.

He said having to

provide your own hose was ‘commonplace in other marinas’ and he kept a spare

hose on his boat for when he sailed to France.

Improvements planned

Other changes planned to improve marina facilities before the next sailing season include

creating permanent access for pontoons out in the Pool Moorings so people do

not have to use tenders, improved showers and a marina reception.

Capt. Murray

added: ‘We also want to improve our technology so the experience of collecting

information and visiting dues is more efficient.

‘We really

improved our wi-fi facilities this summer. We’re always looking to improve and

obviously we have to make sure we meet health and safety requirements.’

All pictures credited to Tony Rive:

A notice put up by

Guernsey Harbours to all boatowners.

Empty hose

brackets and taps in the QEII Marina after hosepipes were removed by Guernsey

Harbour.

Guernsey Harbour Master Chad Murray.