Off charter super yachts with only crew on board are considered commercial vessels. Poole Harbour Commissioners are maintaining their statutory open port policy by allowing these vessels to arrive at the Port of Poole, and by providing them with lay-by provisions during the COVID-19 crisis.
Currently, Poole is hosting an 83m Super Yacht on Town Quay, with 4 more vessels due to arrive at the port in the coming weeks.
The health and welfare of their workforce, port visitors and their families is a top priority for PHC, and they continue to work closely with Public Health England (PHE) and Port Health to ensure that they continue to follow the most up-to-date rules and guidance from the UK Government.
Captain Brian Murphy, Harbour Master, Poole Harbour Commissioners said “By law, the captain of a visiting ship must submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH) if a crew member, or guest on board is showing any signs of illness. But, in these unprecedented times, like many other ports across the country during this national pandemic, we are insisting that all vessels submit an MDH for every arrival, including nil returns. Procedures are in place to deal with all scenarios including self-isolation of crew for a minimum of 14 days”.
“We want to assure members of the public that we are adhering to strict rules and guidelines. The MDH ensures that all crew members are fit and healthy before entering the harbour. Once here they will remain on board to protect the local community as well as themselves. They should have plenty of supplies on board, if not they will be provided by their normal specialist suppliers, therefore will have no impact on the availability of goods in the local area”.
Due to the COVID-19 crisis the Charter Market has dried up and many vessels need somewhere safe to berth until the market returns. The vessels coming into the town have been at sea for a couple of weeks, only stopping to refuel. These factors combined with the measures put in place by Port Health and Public Health England, should reassure worried members of the public that these vessels do not impose a risk to the local community.
Please respect the privacy of these vessels and the crew during their lay-by, stay at home and save lives.