Scofflaws not welcome in Harbours

12 July 2021
By Tom Collins

Harbour Safety Reminder from Cork County Council

With an increase in mariners using harbours over the Summer months, Cork County Council’s Senior Harbour Master Julian Renault is calling on all boat users to adhere to safety and speed restrictions on the water.

“The Cork Coast is a great resource for the commercial and fishing sectors, as well as tourism, sports and recreation, however sharing this space safely requires strict adherence to rules by all parties. Crafts should proceed at safe speeds at all times, for the safety of all on board and for any water users who may be affected by their wake.

Remembering to adherence to guidelines in terms of speed limits, life jackets and operating vessels under the influence of drugs and alcohol is vital to the safety of all harbour and coast users and can be a matter of life and death.

Violating any of the provisions of the laws concerning port users and users of leisure crafts can result in a fine of €5,000, so for your own safety and that of others, as well as to avoid fines, make yourself familiar with the speed limits of harbours before setting out.”

A Cork County Council Harbour Master renders assistance. Pic. Cork County Council

Mr. Renault cites a recent series of incidents in Kinsale harbour,

“14 vessels were found in excess of the 5 knots speed limit in the inner harbour, 3 were asked to reduce speed in order to minimise their wash and one 16-footer speed boat was found with crew not wearing life jackets. The consequences of incidents like this can range from inconvenience and annoyance to other harbour users to tragedy. The Irish Coast can be a dangerous place, especially when people decide to take unnecessary risks.”

The Code of Practice for the Safe Operation of Recreational Craft is available on

For information on speed limits and maritime safety in Kinsale Harbour and Youghal Harbour, see

In ports where the Council has Harbour Masters, issues can be reported directly to them during working hours.

Youghal: 024 92926
Kinsale: 021 4772503
Union Hall: 028 34737
Baltimore: 085 8705825
Imminent dangers or risks to life must be reported to the Coast Guard using 112 or 999.

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