Paddleboarders urged to stay away from cruise ships in Weymouth Bay

Paddleboarders urged to stay away from cruise ships in Weymouth Bay

Published by Maria Greenwood at 10:16am 28th May 2020.

Paddleboarders are being urged to steer clear of the seven cruise ships currently anchored in Weymouth Bay.

The message comes from Dorset Marine Policing Teams and the RNLI who say the ships are much further out than they appear and can also move without warning, especially if they aren't aware you're there.

There is a 50m exclusion zone around each of the vessels.

Several images have appeared on social media of paddleboarders getting very close to the ships.

Queen Mary 2
Queen Mary 2 in Weymouth Bay

An RNLI spokesperson told Wessex FM:

"Having the cruise ships in Weymouth Bay is something we wouldn't have normally seen. The reason they are moored here is because the bay offers secure anchorage with the prevailing weather. 

"As the cruise ships appear quite close to the shore and accessible from Weymouth seafront for a paddle board, people will be drawn to them out of curiosity. 

"It is important to remember that they are further out than they appear and the wind will be against you on the return trip, this could lead to difficulties in getting back to shore. 

"There is also a risk of injury if you get too close to the ships, especially if they are unaware of your presence. The ships in the bay utilise a dynamic anchoring system, this involves large thrusters that work automatically if the ship starts to move from its anchored position. 

"There is a risk for anyone that is too close to the vessel that they could be seriously injured. Maintaining a sensible distance from the ship where you are visible to the bridge in case any of the ships systems have to be operated will help to reduce the risk."

ships in weymouth bay

We're also being told to keep drones away from the ships. 

Dorset Marine Policing Team said:

"There are a number of CruiseShips in Weymouth Bay during the Coronavirus situation. We know it’s very, very tempting to paddle over on SUP, Kayak or other vessels for a cheeky selfie, or to get the drone up to test your flying skills.

"Please remember that there is a 50m exclusion zone around the vessels, and be aware of other #CAA instructions around use of drones fitted with cameras."