Interview / Will we be able to revive May 11, 2020? Indicators seem to be in the green

© Chloé Torterat

Since the Prime Minister's speech on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, a question has been on everyone's lips: Will we be able to sail again as of May 11, the date of déconfinement?? Serge Pallarès, President of the French Federation of Marinas is rather serene and positive.

A Covid-19 management protocol

The Federation of Marinas was entrusted with the organisation of the resumption of pleasure boating activities on 24th April last. In collaboration with the State services, the Secretary General, the Maritime Prefects and the Regional Prefects, the FFPP presented a management protocol for Covid-19 for the resumption of pleasure boating.

"The responsible recovery of economic activity was conditional on the submission of a management plan. The sector had to provide guarantees with a guide and a charter. All the regional unions worked together throughout the weekend to provide an answer to the regional secretary and guarantee the proper management of this deconfinement. We are serene" explains Serge Pallarès, President of the FFPP.

Examples of good practice

Thus, in this guide - which will be distributed to all ports and yachtsmen when they are authorised to navigate - the themes of welcoming the yachtsman, stopovers, his route in the port, in the technical zones or in the fueling areas will be addressed. "It's an interesting guide that's bound to get richer. These are the basics to set the scene, but will evolve with experience."

All yachtsmen will have to wear a mask to access the port and the president of the FFPP also advises those sailing with their families to keep them on board their boat. Harbour staff will also be equipped with masks and gloves and will enforce reasonable safety distances. The captain's offices will be equipped with a reception desk with protective plexiglas and the person at the reception desk will wear glove masks.

There will also be rules for launching, but also for craning, with a distance to be respected of 4 m with the staff.

"We will have to live with these kinds of constraints, which are already in place in other countries. We have to respect life and sustain it, and so we have to live by the rules of life. Everybody has to be respectful of each other's lives and from then on, everything will be fine."

Serge Pallarès, President of the FFPP

And for boaters who live more than 100 km from their port of attache??

During his speech, Édouard Philippe indicated that while travel certificates were no longer mandatory, they would nevertheless be limited to a maximum of 100 km from his home. So what about boaters parisiens??

"Government measures must be enforced, including a ban on travelling more than 100 km from home. There's no other way. It will gradually increase, the more responsible and respectful we will be and the more we will get used to living like this." explains Serge Pallarès.

Responsible boaters

The president of the FFPP also counts on the common sense of boaters to respect this charter of good practice. "Today, I'm separating beaches, mass territory and a port. Boaters don't arrive in clusters, they come with their spouses or with family and friends. Of course, we will pass each other, but we will respect the distances. Since the beginning, we have had people confined to their boats and we have not had any abuse or misconduct. The boater is responsible and knows what to do and what not to do."

When will we see validation??

"Today, we are awaiting confirmation of the reopening of recreational activities or the suspension of navigation. Otherwise, I would not understand. There is no more risk on a port or a boat than on the street or in a supermarket. I am serene. The industry is responsible and united to work in the general interest, the preservation of life and the management of this virus.

We hope to have an answer before the end of the week, with a green light and a recovery as soon as the deconfinement takes place. After all, the professionals continue to convoy boats and the SNSM has resumed training and sea trips since 28th April. So, how can we tell yachtsmen not to sortir??"

The recovery of economic activity

Today we need to get power back into the reactor. If we can reopen navigation, the reactor will be reactivated, the economy will start up again and so will life. Which means that there is hope." concludes the President of the FFPP.

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