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PWC Jan 2004

REPORT OF PERSONAL WATERCRAFT MEETING – Monday, 26th. January 2004 at the Civic Centre Barnstaple

• There are three specific types of craft involved:
Jet Skis (Kawasaki brand name) – stand-up craft with jet engine
Personal Watercraft (PWC) – sit down craft with jet engine
Ceasar Thundercats – inflatable catamarans with propeller
• "Fast Leisure Craft": New generic term coined by the meeting, to include the three types of craft above
• Ceasar Thundercats have formed themselves into a separate club, and have undertaken to register copies of their documentation (Code of Conduct, membership and insurance details, etc.) with NDCCS and Torridge District Council (TDC) and NDDC
• Jet Skis and Personal Watercraft have not yet formed a club
• The meeting was well attended and, in addition to many of the Fast Leisure Craft users, representatives of the landowners responsible for the three main launching areas were also present as were many other interested parties. Both District Councils were also represented
• TDC is, at present, redrafting some of its byelaws, and will seek to redraft the byelaws governing use of the estuary.
• NDDC is less involved, but the meeting stressed that any new byelaws should be drawn up by both district councils, and should be enforceable on both sides of the estuary.
• Two representatives from the RNLI (Poole HQ) also attended the meeting. In view of the possible take over by RNLI of responsibility for lifeguarding in 2005, they wished to find out as much as they could about local conditions
• RNLI is also hoping to do lifeguard training involving the use of jet skis in the Taw Torridge Estuary over three periods this summer:
19th. to 30th. April
10th. to 21st. May
5th. to 16th. July
• Because of its involvement with ATTURM, RNLI was hoping to come to an agreement with the landowners to use Instow Beach for the training courses. Copies of the Estuary Zoning System, and the Code of Conduct for Estuary have been made available.
• The meeting discussed registration of "fast leisure craft", 3rd. party insurance, payment for launching, enforcement of regulations and byelaws, etc., and the following resolutions were passed:
1. The meeting congratulates the members of the new Ceasar Thundercat Club and looks for close liaison between them, the Local Authorities and other user groups on the Estuary, with special reference to membership, insurance, launching, use of approved zones, policing and other related matters, and encourages efforts of other "fast leisure craft" users to form similar clubs for this purpose
2. The meeting requests that, in the situation where self regulation by club or clubs is not forthcoming, the Local Authorities involved take action to ensure that "fast leisure craft" do not pose a risk or nuisance to other users of the estuary and its environs
• Date of next "fast leisure craft" meeting: Monday, 14th. June, 2004
• Combe Martin, Hele Bay and the Tunnels Beach, Ilfracombe reported that they had also experienced problems with "fast leisure craft"
• In future, a report of the business conducted at the Beach Owners' Meeting, together with the relevant minutes, will be put on the agenda of the Barnstaple, Fremington and Instow Area Committee, in addition to the Ilfracombe and Northern Rural Area Committee. This reflects recent changes of Area Committee boundaries.
• Discussion took place over what regulations are in place to regulate the activities of surf schools, and what checks there are on trainers, equipment, qualifications, etc.
• Parish Councils have to be satisfied, otherwise the surf schools can be excluded
• ENCAMS is to rationalise its seaside awards – discussion is taking place
Friday, 29th. October 2004 at 10.30 a.m.