Increase in number of incidents on Torbay waters

Torbay Weekly

Dangerous incidents in Torbay’s waters have increased by at least 40 per cent compared to last year, according to data released by Torbay Council.

A total of 35 incidents were recorded in Torbay’s waters between the start of this year and November 2. This is up from 25 for the whole of 2020.

The biggest source of danger this year were near-misses between vessels, with 11 incidents.

Seven cases of pollution spilling into the Bay were recorded, up from three last year.

The number of fires hasn’t changed: two each year.

Most incidents recorded involved vessels belonging to members of the public or commercial boats.

A spokesperson for Torbay Council said: “It is our view that the reason for the increased number of accidents/incidents is mainly due to better reporting, but it is also probably due to increasing popularity of water sports in the Bay, linked to the 'staycation' effect and increased visitor numbers.”

The council mostly doesn’t get involved with boat operations around the Bay but it does control licenses for small commercial boats.

It has a patrol boat out in the water most days during the peak season to monitor activities, enforce harbour bylaws and provide assistance if incidents arise.

Earlier this year a new health and safety officer was hired by the Tor Bay Harbour Authority, which is run by Torbay Council.

Their main role is to manage health and safety for shore-based activities, but the council says the new officer 'does have plenty of operational marine experience from his previous position and he can and does get involved with marine safety as and when required'.

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