Islanders back proposals for new laws to crack down on irresponsible skippers

States Members in Jersey will debate a proposition to update the island's maritime safety laws by the end of the year Credit: PA

People in Jersey have backed proposals from the island's government to crack down on irresponsible skippers and boat owners.

The Economic Development Minister, Deputy Kirsten Morel, says the reforms will "make the island's territorial waters safer" by bringing in stricter punishments for anyone found to be operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

If approved, the existing maritime laws will be expanded to apply to jet skis and former speedboats as well as larger vessels.

In June 2023, Jersey's government set out its preliminary plans in a six-week public consultation.

Only 14 people responded, with 12 backing the proposals to reform the island's shipping law, while 11 supported the proposed changes to Jersey's harbour rules.

Deputy Morel says: "The changes will allow for a more substantial prosecution of someone whose careless behaviour, or consumption of alcohol or drugs while in charge of a vessel, has led to a death or serious injury.

"We can now take the legislative process forward and bring the proposals to the States Assembly."

The updated laws are due to be debated in the States by the end of 2023.

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