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Back on the water...

We are pleased to announce that, with advice from RYA Sailability, we have developed plans for activities that can be delivered within the constraints of Government Restrictions and Guidance and meet our expectations for safety on the water.

A test event will be conducted on Tuesday 21 July to run through and refine the new procedures we must adopt. Activities will commence on Tuesday 28 July. We have agreement from Premier for us to operate on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. This is to avoid the busy times at the marina. However, if there are members who can only make weekends, please let me know and Premier have said that they will consider some weekend operations on a case by case basis.

Following the Test Event the Risk Assessment and Addendum to our Operating Procedures defining how we must operate to minimise the risk of spreading COVID19 will be published. All Sailors and Volunteers participating in activities will be required to confirm that they understand the procedures and residual COVID risk associated with participation. It will be for each to decide whether they wish to participate based on their judgement of the residual risk of catching COVID and their personal circumstances.

To meet restrictions on group sizes etc activities will consist of :

· ARC Trips – 4 members plus 2 volunteer crew. Up to two wheel chairs can be taken while maintaining 1m spacing

· Drascombe Longboat Trips – 1 or 2 sailors plus 2 volunteer crew. A chance to try out our new boat.

· Hansa sessions – 3 Hansa single manned or double manned by sailor and support from member of same household approved by Chief Sailing Instructor.

Each activity will commence and finish half hour apart to maintain distance between groups. We will also restrict operations to 1 ½ hours either side of high tide.

Due to Social Distancing Restrictions Volunteers are not currently allowed to provide close assistance to sailors. Therefore sailors using wheel chairs or otherwise needing assistance on the ramp, and boarding boats including use of the hoist will need to be accompanied by a member of their own household or “bubble” to provide assistance. Advice and direction will be provided on use of the hoist. Supporters will be made temporary members for the purpose.

Due to the limited numbers for each session we will be operating a booking system. Further details next week. This will include seeking volunteers to man the sessions.

Premier have agreed that we can continue operating until they need to clear the pontoon to start work. Rather than fix a date they have agreed that they will not ask us to stop until the last minute. This does mean possible short notice end of operations from the pontoon at sometime in September. However, we are exploring the possibility of continuing ARC and Drascombe operations beyond that time with both vessels kept on the moorings.

We hope that the weather stays fine and as many members as wish to can enjoy some time on the river in these strange times.

Ian Wakeling Principal Dart Sailability 01803 722737 (H) 07790 771405 (M)

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