Please select your home edition
Edition

RYA affirms the guiding principles supporting its return to boating strategy

by Loretta Spridgeon, RYA 6 May 2020 11:48 PDT
Sunrise at sea © Two Drifters

As we near Boris Johnson's anticipated announcement this Sunday where we expect to hear the Government's plans for the easing of lockdown restrictions, the RYA is working on a range of guidance and resources to help members and the wider boating community prepare for a return to the water. These resources will ensure that boaters can return to activities on the water as quickly and safely as possible.

Since the lockdown commenced, the RYA has lobbied on behalf of its members to put forward strong case for boating to be one of the first activities that can be resumed safely within any necessary parameters for social distancing, once we start to see a relaxation of the current restrictions.

While the detail of Government plans for easing restrictions are not yet known, the RYA has outlined the following 'guiding principles' that will shape its detailed response:

  1. We will always follow Government guidance

    The COVID-19 preventative measures are vital to protecting health and wellbeing and to minimising pressure on the frontline services. We all have a role to play by following the Government guidelines.

    The RYA will provide interpretation and advice to show how the latest measures on social distancing, hygiene and travel can be applied to boating showing examples of the level of activity that each phase will allow.

    As both a national and international Association, we are mindful that Home Country Governments may issue their own phased plans and measures. Additionally, as we have seen to date, local authorities, harbour authorities or marinas may also interpret guidance differently. We will carefully review any industry specific guidance that impacts on boating activities, such as advice for the sport and hospitality sectors, as well as paying particular attention to any guidance for specific sections of our community.

    Where the application of Government guidance is unclear, we will seek clarification so that boaters and activity organisers are kept informed.

  2. We will, as a boating community, take a considerate and conservative approach

    • Considerate: be mindful of the potential impact that you could have on other water users and do not place unnecessary extra strain on the RNLI and emergency services.

      Consider the local area and whether there is a risk that you could put extra pressure on the RNLI or frontline services. For example, are you in a very remote location? Is the area very busy? Look out for others such as families on beaches or people on other boats and think about how your activity could help or hinder them. For example, windsurfers or kiteboarders who launch from the beach should give extra space to beach users. Boaters should keep an eye out for others, and be ready to assist if trouble arises.

    • Conservative: help to minimise risk by taking an extra conservative approach to your boating.

      Our guidance on safety remains unchanged: know your limits; look after yourself; keep in touch and, above all, have a plan. As we start to get back on the water, we advise boaters to take an even more conservative approach when planning to go afloat.

Sarah Treseder, RYA Chief Executive, explains: "We share our members' enthusiasm for a return to boating once we start to see a relaxation of the current restrictions. Getting afloat undoubtedly benefits both mental and physical wellbeing and we believe that with appropriate measures, a basic level of safe and responsible activity can be delivered to get our members active on the water.

"The decision to go afloat both for individuals and activity organisers should be based on a combination of self-responsibility and risk assessment. Our work with clubs, training centres and members will focus on the mitigation of COVID-19 risks to allow individuals and activity organisers to make informed decisions relating to their own interests and activities.

"We remain committed to representing the interests of the recreational boating community and we eagerly await the Government's announcement on Sunday. Our members, affiliated clubs, classes, and recognised training centres will receive a further update as soon as we have reviewed the Government's plans and their impact on boating activities," Sarah concludes.

Further COVID-19 advice for clubs, classes and training centres, as well as recreational boaters in the UK and abroad, can be found on the RYA website.

Related Articles

Watersports participation is on the rise
The number of people taking part more frequently in on water activities has also increased The annual Watersports Participation Survey 2021 shows that approximately 11.7m people took part in one or more of the boating activities* more than once in 2021. This number has risen by almost double since 2020. Posted on 21 Jun
Last chance to make a Volunteer Award nomination
An RYA Volunteer Award is the perfect way to say thank you Do you know a hardworking volunteer who really makes a difference in helping others get on the water? Whether it's mowing the lawn, helming the safety boat, running events or just getting stuck in wherever needed- it all counts. Posted on 30 Apr
Ian Walker to step down as RYA Racing Director
Ian oversaw the British Sailing Team's success at Tokyo 2020 The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has today confirmed that Ian Walker MBE will be stepping down from his position as RYA Racing Director. Posted on 14 Apr
RYA open applications for The Together Fund
The RYA has been awarded £195,000 of National Lottery Funding from the Sport England Together Fund Non-profit organisations and OnBoard and Sailability venues in England are once again invited to apply for small grants for projects which connect with local communities. Posted on 4 Apr
Join the RYA Para Sailing Hub
Sailors of all ages and abilities pledge their support for the para racing community Sailors of all ages and abilities pledged their support for the para racing community, as the RYA launched a brand-new support network, aimed at increasing racing opportunities for disabled people in the UK. Posted on 11 Mar
RYA boosted by Sport England funding
To help more people get afloat The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is among the first group of over 40 organisations working in partnership with Sport England to benefit from its new funding model, as it plays a foundational role in the sport and physical activity sector. Posted on 10 Mar
The RYA teams up with the podcast 'Our Voices'
A collaboration for a series of episodes focussing on real-life stories from the boating community The Royal Yachting Association (RYA) has teamed up with the up-and-coming podcast, 'Our Voices,' produced by Fascinate Productions, for a series of insightful episodes chatting with members of the boating community. Posted on 19 Feb
Single-Use Plastic Free Accreditation recipients
New standard highlights responsible and innovative practices and products The Green Blue and Final Straw Foundation have announced the first business, sailing club, and marina, to receive the Bronze Certification Award as part of the collaborative standard: Single-Use Plastic Free Accreditation. Posted on 11 Feb
RYA launches LGBTQIA+ network
"Inclusivity and Equality should be at the heart of boating" In support of creating an inclusive and welcoming sport, the Royal Yachting Association has announced it will be launching a community network for boaters identifying as LGBTQIA+. Posted on 8 Feb
RYA Training Conference held on Saturday
Uncovering new opportunities for centres The 2022 RYA Raymarine Training Conference supported by Gallagher attracted more than 1,200 RYA instructors, appointment holders and training centre principals - with delegates joining the virtual event on Saturday 5th February. Posted on 6 Feb