Harbour Users Group Working To Overturn Seahorse Prohibition

The Seahorse

St Mary’s Harbourmaster, Dale Clark, says he’s keen for the MCA’s local representative to visit Scilly to discuss issues over the mooring of tripper boats.

This follows a prohibition order, served earlier this year on Steve Hicks, the skipper of the popular local boat, The Seahorse. The MCA have said the method of tying up alongside the quays, by keeping the engine running with a single mooring rope to hold the boat in place, is against their guidelines.

Steve said at the time that if the prohibition couldn’t be overturned, he would sell the boat.

Dale says the Harbour Users Group have written to the MCA outlining their concerns that the conditions under which they work here is not as straightforward as the MCA guidelines make out. He says they also gave figures to the MCA, which showed no significant accidents occuring even though the method is used thousands of times a year.

Dale says it could be argued that their recommended method of tying up, with up to twelve separate ropes, could prove a significant trip hazard and make things more dangerous.

The MCA now say they are willing to work with Mr Hicks to try to resolve the prohibition notice, and the Harbour Users will be writing to their regional representative, Tony Hisslop, to invite him to visit and discuss the practices with the boatmen.

Dale says other boats in the UK have been affected by similar rulings and Scilly isn’t being singled out. But he says there is “a strong reason for operating the way we do here, which is the safest method for us,” and he wants Mr Hisslop to see that for himself.

Dale says he’s under the impression that Steve will continue boating with The Seahorse if the prohibition can be lifted and expressed his hope that he doesn’t sell the boat.


6 Responses to Harbour Users Group Working To Overturn Seahorse Prohibition

  1. Todd Stevens November 12, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Isnt this odd! I mean, you would think that MCA guidlines would be based on tried and tested methods like those used constantly in a place like this. Whats the betting it merely comes from somone thinking it up at his desk. Jobsworths rule!!

  2. Paul Downes November 12, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    By the sound of things the MCA will soon be recommending that all boats are tied up with, or should that be in, red tape. Does local knowledge and experience count for nothing?

  3. Tracey November 12, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    This really is unbelievable! Quite pathetic actually!
    Steve is one of the most trusted master mariners on the seas today…
    Oh for goodness sake, this is just stupidity at its best!

  4. Mr F Gregory November 12, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Come on MCA more bureaucracy. These boatmen know what they are doing and have done for generations.

  5. Peter Corbett November 12, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    I cannot believe it. How on earth can anyone say that the way Steve ties his boat up is anything other than safe. I would trust him even if it was held to the quay using a single strand from a spider’s web. GET A GRIP ON REALITY. MCA!!!

    • IanT November 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Yes, this is another instance of ‘guidelines’ being interpreted as rules or laws. Guide lines are what they say – guide lines and should not be rigidly applied to every situation. One has to remember that the MCA rep. was probably over on a ‘jolly’ and had to justify his trip somehow and Steve was the unlucky one. Me – cynical..??