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Watersport Fans to be Punished

Unpowered craft including sailboards and bodyboards are to be reclassified as ships to bring their users within regulations for merchant shipping... Anyone out on the water would be liable to a random breath test. But the Department for Transport has infuriated many of Britain’s four million water sports enthusiasts.

What a shower, they must be taking the piss if they have to twist meanings of words so far just to impose their discipline. "It is already an offence to behave in such a way as to endanger a ship or an individual." But that isn't enough, we must regulate all behaviour not just the dangerous.


There's some serious background to this.

Up till recently, ANYTHING that floated was classed as a "vessel", and therefore came under the Collision Regulations - as should be the case.

Then some idiot riding a JetSki caused an accident (it's always JetSkis, they are the XR2's of the water, always noisy, always neds, have no clue how to behave, upset everybody else, etc etc etc) and got taken to court.

His lawyer claimed that a JetSki was not a "vessel", therefore the ColRegs did not apply to him and he couldn't be punished. Astonishingly, the judge accepted this. So for a while we had a situation where the worst-behaved users of the water were legally able to behave exactly as they wished, and they could not be touched.

This change you've drawn attention to is the necessary corrective to that foul-up. All waterborne objects are "vessels" - as the more civilised of us had always assumed - and therefore the ColRegs apply, as they should, to everyone.

Hopefully a few more prosecutions of these selfish bastards will now follow.

Nothing to get excited about, unless you are one of the idiots who gets his kicks from buzzing cross-channel ferries or filling up peoples' cockpits with water as you go past too close and too fast, or infuriating a whole beach-full for hours on end with that stupid buzzing noise.

So a surfboard is now a ship??? I guess a child floating on an intertube is taking a cruise!

Really, this is making the UK English/ US English thing even harder.

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