The Government has published amendments to the Seaside Pleasure Boat Rules 1989 to enhance safety of navigation in the Port and in British Gibraltar Territorial Waters.
There have been two amendments to the Rules. The first one changes the definition of a speedboat to include personal watercraft. This is intended simply to clarify any ambiguity in the definition so that a person under the age of 18 years is not permitted to navigate a personal craft (jetski) unless he is authorised, in writing, to do so by an authorised officer.
The second amendment provides that any vessel that is over six metres in length and any vessel, irrespective of size, that is mechanically propelled has to be covered by such a policy of insurance in respect of third party risks as may be approved by the Captain of the Port. Owners of existing vessels will be given a period of grace of three months to make the necessary arrangements.
The insurance requirement has come about following a recommendation to the Minister with responsibility for the Port, Gilbert Licudi QC, by the Small Vessels Advisory Board which is established under the Small Vessels (Moorings Controls) Rules 2016.
Mr Licudi said: “It is one of the Government’s priorities to ensure safe navigation in the Port and British Gibraltar Territorial Waters. The completion of the Mid-Harbour small boats marina has seen a substantial increase in the number of small vessels using our waters. Insurance requirements already exist for jetskis, fast launches and vessels which are certified as exempt from certain provisions of the fast launches legislation. The Government felt it was important to extend these provisions, in particular to cover all motorized vessels. This follows a recommendation by the Small Vessels Advisory Board which the Government was happy to accept.”