RYA: Beach's swimming area does not affect sailors

Boats are still allowed to anchor in one of the Solent’s most popular anchorages, despite claims to the contrary by English Heritage.

English Heritage has marked a swimming area with buoys off the Osborne Bay beach.

This summer the Isle of Wight beach – formerly Queen Victoria’s private beach – has been opened to the public for the first time, but it is not accessible to visitors arriving by boat.

But the RYA insists that licence for the swimming area does not allow English Heritage, which operates the adjacent Osborne House, to ban anchoring in the bay, including inside the swimming area.

Gus Lewis, the RYA’s head of legal and government affairs, said: ‘We have received a number of reports from boaters that they have been instructed by a representative of English Heritage from the beach in Osborne Bay that they are not allowed to anchor in or close to the marked swimming area.

‘Clearly, if there is an area marked out for swimming then boaters will need to take particular care if they choose to navigate or anchor in this area. However, English Heritage has no authority to prohibit anchoring anywhere in Osborne Bay and its staff have no power to require anchored boats to move.’

The RYA wants to hear from anyone who has been challenged by English Heritage for anchoring in Osborne Bay or navigating within the marked swimming area.

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How not to cause a scene when anchoring.

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Set your anchor gently.