Cowes Harbour ‘cannot refuse entry’ to vessels during lockdown

Harbour users have been asked to follow government guidance and stay at home and avoid any movements on the river during the Coronavirus epidemic

trinity pontoon

Despite lockdown, Cowes Harbour is still open and ‘cannot refuse entry’ to vessels who need to go through or use the harbour unless the government orders it to close.

Harbour users have been asked to follow government guidance and stay at home and avoid any movements on the river during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Access could also be restricted to the port and operations suspended but only as a last resort, due to the emergency Covid-19 bill passed recently.

Having to get used to these very unusual, challenging and worrying times
In a newsletter, Cowes harbourmaster, Captain Stuart McIntosh, said:

“We are all having to get used to these very unusual, challenging and worrying times, and as a result, are having to find new ways of working and endeavouring to make the right decisions to ensure we manage the crisis for the benefit and welfare of us all.”

Diverted to Trinity Landing
Now, boats arriving in Cowes from outside the UK are having to divert to Trinity Landing and provide information about their crew and last port of call.

Although water patrols are still being carried out twice a day, through the  harbour and River Medina including at Shepards Marina and Kingston Wharf, and pilots, helping bigger ships to navigate the Cowes pilotage area, are practicing social distancing.

Fuel berth
The fuel berth will also open twice a week to supply essential customers and vessels only, including the harbour patrol, pilot boats and emergency service boats.

Harbour taxis have been stopped until further notice and Cowes Water Taxis, which were due to start operating this week), will not be running.

Government Covid-19 guidance: Stay alert and stay safe
Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently (video tips).

Social distancing
It is recommended that you maintain at least a two metre gap (about 6.5ft) from people who are not from your household.

Seeking advice
Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service that can tell if you need medical help and advise you what to do.

This article is from the BBC’s LDRS (Local Democracy Reporter Service) scheme, which OnTheWight is taking part in. Some alterations and additions may be been made by OnTheWight. Ed

Image: © Nick Edwards Wight Seen

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

Leave your Reply

18 Comments on "Cowes Harbour ‘cannot refuse entry’ to vessels during lockdown"

newest oldest most voted

This is absolutely ridiculous when we have a current pandemic on our hands. Using a practical and common sense approach is a must and take ownership and prevent any entry whatsoever.
There is a moral and legal duty here to protect the community. Use the Government ruling to defend this.


I didn’t see people taking this line a few weeks ago. Everyone was welcome to come to the island, and those who suggested otherwise were abused a vilified. So what’s suddenly changed then?


The data and government plan.

Benny C
A global biological war? Or maybe the message getting through to quite a few folks with a curious perspective on life who only a week or two ago on this news feed were telling us they knew best and that freedom of choice was more important than reducing fatalities. Tragically if they’ve gone about their daily lives guided by their own advice they will now be most… Read more »

I had a look at the Solent today, from Southampton to Portsmouth not a single solitary sail was to be seen anywhere. Two RORO commercial vehicle carriers, Victoria, a Red Funnel ferry and a RN patrol ship was all there was.


Cowes harbour commission are complaining that they have to check documentation. So what did boats from outside the Uk do before the Corona excitement. Disgorge themselves and crew on British soil, without the need for passports etc. Oh yes of course they could, they could afford a boat.


This is absolutely disgraceful. Sailors docking in Cowes from all over the world and roaming our streets and supermarkets, while the rest of us are trying our best not to spread this potentially deadly virus. Come on Cowes Harbourmaster.

Benny C
Not sure we can expect the Captain of the harbour to effectively break the law and be judge and jury. He’s highlighting an issue over which he is in a no win situation, I don’t think those ŵith the comfortable position of not having to accept the consequences of breaking the law or their employment contract would want to be seen to shoot the messenger from the… Read more »
Mason Watch

Cowes Week likely to make an announcement this week cancelling the event this year. Interesting to see their website has gone quiet now. We don’t want crowds or massive gatherings so it’s a good idea.


No worries, it may be Catherine Calderwood arriving with her family. Now that she has pseudo resigned as Scotlands Chief Medic she has time on her hands, flying her flag of dishonour “Do as thou says, not as thou does”

If you consider the bigger picture planes are still flying into Heathrow everyday from other countries under Lockdown, albeit not so many. Trains and public transport are still in operation all over the country albeit not so many. Cars and vans are still racing up and down the roads all over the mainland, albeit not so many. What do you seriously expect the Cowes Harbour master to… Read more »

Why worry? We had the chance to lockdown a few weeks ago, we chose not to do it because numerous islanders still wanted to commute to the mainland to work, many to London, the epic Center of COVID-19 in the U.K. as a consequence the virus is now well and truly established on the IW, so why worry about a few yachties popping over?


Fair point Kerry.

What does defender of the IW, Bob Seely, think?


Bob Seely was very much for keeping all routes open to and from the island, with absolutely no restrictions.


Totally irresponsible Mr Seely, still what else did we expect


Thumbs down, you are pathetic


Thick as mince thumbs down brigade


Confirms the above