The Royal Yachting Association (RYA), which is recognised as the representational voice for recreational boaters, and the British Ports Association (BPA), representing over 350 ports, harbours and piers around the UK’s coast, have joined forces to welcome a ministerial announcement of an alcohol awareness campaign.

At the start of Maritime Safety Week on the 1st July, Transport and Maritime Minister Nusrat Ghani MP announced that her Department would be undertaking a campaign to highlight the potential dangers of drinking and boating. The announcement was a key part of the Department for Transport’s Maritime Safety Action Plan which was launched in London this week.

The RYA and BPA are members of a newly formed Alcohol Awareness Steering Group which will work with the Government and other parts of the maritime sector to develop the campaign aimed at recreational boat users. The campaign aims to improve safety on the water by highlighting the dangers of drinking and boating.

RYA Director of External Affairs Howard Pridding comments “Our message on this issue is clear- Don’t Mix Alcohol and Boating.

“We welcome the initiative that Government is taking and have been pleased to work with colleagues from the British Ports Association and other stakeholders to develop the campaign that will encourage all who enjoy their recreation afloat to boat responsibly.”

BPA Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne said: “Although many recreational users enjoy boating responsibly, sadly it’s believed that the issue of drinking in the marine environment has contributed to incidents and accidents around our coast. However as a sector we are alive to the problem and are using this campaign to create awareness and hopefully ensure people enjoy our wonderful coast and network of ports and marinas for the right reasons. As the key user representative body the Royal Yachting Association has a wide reach and it is great to link up with them to get this important message out.”

The Department for Transport’s Maritime Safety Action Plan underpins the Government’s Maritime 2050 Strategy, setting a vision for a safer marine environment and is available here.

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