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

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

‘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.

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

Guernsey Harbour Master Chad Murray.