Paddleboard problems anger in Stonehaven
Those seafarers who have enjoyed paddleboarding at Stonehaven are angry with the changes restricting access.
The Leader received a complaint from a paddleboarding reader who had previously used the harbour on a regular basis to enjoy his sport.
He was surprised to learn that previously unrestricted access was now subject to new rules, meaning that a large area was no longer accessible to ‘boarders’.
In a letter to the Scottish Canoe Association, HM Coastguard and the Stonehaven Harbourmaster, James Brown, advised that paddleboarding is only permitted in the Botany Bay area of the harbour.
As per the red hatched area shown on the pictured plan, paddleboarding is not permitted in the navigation channel, entrance to the middle harbour, along the side of the net pier, the inner harbour or the outer harbour.
Planned paddleboarding operations should be communicated daily to the Harbourmaster.
We spoke to the harbour owners Aberdeenshire Council, who said: “Aberdeenshire Council has published instructions for the use of paddleboards at Stonehaven Harbour.
“The number of paddleboarders in the Harbour area is increasing as the popularity of the sport continues to rise and the Council must ensure that paddleboarders can continue to enjoy their sport safely.
The Council is also required to ensure that vessels can safely navigate the Harbour area.
The purpose of these instructions is to fully segregate paddleboarders from motor vessels within the Harbour area. This decision has been taken for safety reasons following a number of reported incidents that had the potential for serious consequences.
Paddleboarders are welcome to continue to launch in Stonehaven at Botany Bay and we welcome their co-operation.”