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DEFRA rules that charter boats are not allowed in England

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There has been an uproar after the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) published guidance on inland and coastal boating, in which it states that ‘tourist and trip boat operators must remain closed', and that ‘operators should not allow skippered day boat hire or skippered day charter boat hire'.

Bizarrely, hiring self-drive boats for the day is perfectly acceptable, which might seem sensible in terms of social distancing, etc, but could see less-experienced mariners taking to the high seas, which in turn could potentially make things harder for the likes of the Coastguard and the RNLI.

A spokesperson for the British Diving Safety Group (BDSG), which is currently meeting every Thursday to discuss the situation with diving and COVID-19, said that ‘it appears none of our members have been consulted on this guidance'.

The BDSG is currently seeking clarification from DEFRA on this matter.

Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editor-in-Chief Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. 30-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.

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