In Occitania, the inconvenience of motorboating is taken seriously: seaside towns resist

The season is starting and the growing success of motorized marine vehicles requires sorting between rental companies as well as informing users of sometimes unconscious behavior.

How restricted will jet ski enthusiasts be at the start of the season? The question arises at a time when maritime and port authorities are wondering how best to regulate this practice. Reason?

“In a year we had a big upsurge in this area with troubles, impoliteness and even attacks, from Cerberus to Port Camargue”, to warn Serge Pallares, president of the UHPO (Union of Port Cities of Occitania). Not to mention noise pollution and the impact on biodiversity. The stations then take action.

We decided to have only one marine scooter operator for the entire municipality,” indicates, for example, Jean-Romain Brunet, director of the port Port of the Camargue (Gard) following the example of what is happening in La Grand Motte (Ero) neighbor for several years.

“It was necessary to install a true professional in order to avoid uncontrolled rental, and this is a guarantee of safety at sea for people who rent and accompany”, indicates Eric Palier, director of the port of Grande Mottua. Other municipalities have not limited the number to one dealer. palavy. But some adjustments have been made: “We banned the movement of scooters on the canal, and placed rental companies on the seashore, and things went better,” Mayor Christian Zhanjan says.

“Several Tartuffes Inducing Panic”

“Attendance is growing and this year we continue to work to raise awareness among rental companies,” reacts, for its part, Renaud Dupuis de la Granddrive, responsible for the marine environment. For him, the challenge is also to reconcile this use with the marine protected area and its submerged wealth.

“In Cape Town, people are well controlled, but there are always a few tartuffes that make us panic,” he continues. That’s where the concern is. Because, in addition to professionals, it has been aimed at private rentals for two years, while Covid-19 has attracted many more people to the coast.

And there, repressions are intensifying due to the fact that tenants illegally occupy state property and offer services to people who do not have permission. Now target: ramps. In the OP Argeles just destroyed his slipway while working and Canet en Roussillon restricts access to recognized professionals and associations only.

Enough to fear delays elsewhere and a leak of activity in Spain. Here again the answer is graded. Port Camargue believes that access to the sea should remain free, but two guards welcome and control the launch.

Decree is coming

The maritime prefecture is preparing an order banning motorboat sporting events in certain areas. Public consultations have just been completed and the idea is to conserve biodiversity and, first of all, marine mammals (whales, dolphins) that can be disturbed by noise, rise to the surface and become victims of a collision.

The Ulysse decree, coordinated with the French Motorboat Federation, should cover the Pelagos nature reserve in Paque as well as areas in Occitania.

For example, the Cerberus Banyuls National Nature Reserve, the Bay of Lions Marine Natural Park (where the race was canceled in April due to unfavorable opinion from the board of directors) and the Cap d’Agde Posidonia Special Reserves, Capes and Ponds. Leucate classified Natura 2000

Hunt down the indelicate

“We’re launching a mobile app this summer that requires you to sign up to reserve a spot to launch, and we’ll have a follow up. The spirit of the sea is citizenship and responsible behavior,” says Jean-Romain Brunet. A training radar will also be installed in the Harbor Master’s office.

La Grande-Motte now limits the amount of access to individuals so there is no hidden business: “We saw how people took 90 bags…”, recalls Eric Palier.

The latter also relies on his municipal marine brigade, as does Palavas, who decided to hunt down the unscrupulous: “Yes, young people need to let off steam, but we don’t want excesses and the only thing that works is fines!”, release the mayor.

The municipality will install, like some of its counterparts, cars equipped with GPS chips to check and limit speeds.

“Like mountain guides”

Jean-Jacques Magnier manages the La Grande-Motte rental base and is the national secretary of the maritime trade union. “We are like mountain guides, we control the public and are free to do what they want, but there is a parallel market, an unregistered rental market with an audience that is not really informed, which can reach speeds of up to 120 km / h. water” analyzes the one who vigilantly sees the restrictions on access to water bodies for those who do not fall under professional structures.

But the problem is changing, and users alone and in good standing are suffering. To avoid conflicts of use at sea, it advocates “walk 800 m” and up to 2 km from the shore to avoid noise and conflicts with other boats.

Jean-Jacques Magnier was the first to equip cars with GPS for remote control, and the syndicate“working on biofuels to limit pollution”.

“Criminal Behavior with Sea Rodeos”

Thibaut Laverne denounces more and more water accidents.

Captain Thibault Laverne, spokesman for the maritime prefect, is in favor of dialogue.

How do you approach this motorboat issue?

The first observation is avariological: since 2019, the number of accidents has sharply increased, with falls, both drivers and passengers, whose vertebrae are destroyed or fainting when falling into the water. People go too fast when sometimes the sea has already formed. Human inexperience and uberization of supply converge. We fear that one of these marine machines will hit a swimmer, in the past year we have often been on the verge of disaster.

Municipalities also deplore unconscious, even criminal behavior…

It is dangerous to behave with those who reach speeds of up to 80 km/h without a good sense of the sea or who find themselves in prohibited areas intended for swimmers or intended to protect the environment. But the climax is the sea rodeos, where we have offenses with people who do not have a license.

What is this rodeo?

It’s a mass of sea scooters, packs of ten or twenty, they are having fun racing with dangerous behavior for the sake of high accident risk fun. This phenomenon is very common in Paque, but it has also arrived in Occitania where less is known about it.

What kind of answers can a maritime prefecture competent to sail at a depth of more than 300 m give?

We no longer manufacture anti-marine vessel (VNM) vehicle mounts and never will. On the other hand, we have an axis of prevention, such as sending home the message that you need a license to practice, and we notice that those who are trained are more responsible. We are also going to carry out security operations at sea again. In a repressive aspect, fines are possible, but we are also waiting for the law. It would be necessary to reproduce the Rules of the Road at Sea so that the gendarmes could seize the vehicle and place it in what would be a nautical pound.

But how to manage more effectively?

The CImer (Inter-Ministerial Committee for the Maritime) decision of 2022 now allows gendarmes to have direct access to the file of registrations and sailing permits, which was not the case before, this will facilitate verbalization.

More and more beach resorts are restricting access, is this a good solution?

I repeat, there will be no stigmatization of people who like VNM, and we believe that closing the stocks is not an option. Since there is a risk of transferring users to other municipalities or other locations, this will only shift the problem. On the other hand, we are in dialogue with the mayors, and if the decision to close matters, we ensure that access channels are also closed.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.