CONDOR’s high speed vessels have been re-routed after an investigation into an incident at La Vallette bathing pools when children were injured by crashing waves.
CCTV will now also be used to monitor the pools during arrivals and departures to monitor how effective this is, additional signs pointing out the dangers have been installed and work will happen on using warning devices when sea conditions change.
Guernsey Harbours released its report this morning into the incident on Saturday 8 July when sudden waves knocked children into the walls of the pool. It is thought six were injured, suffering cuts, swallowing sea water and one anxiety attack.
The weather was fine, with clear and light winds, while the tide was at 7.9m.
Around the time of the incident, according to the report, Condor Liberation was making her final approach from the south, the cruise ship Adonia was leaving, the Herm Trident V was approaching the harbour from the north, while witnesses have also described a large motor yacht entering Havelet Bay at speed, doing laps, and then leaving to the east.
Condor Liberation altered course towards the island once it had passed the cruise ship, which was south of the bathing pools, but she turned further than company guidance said she should have.
‘While this deviation from company procedure is considered to theoretically contribute to an increased wave height of approximately 60cm at the pools, it is unlikely to have been the cause of the magnitude of wave reported and therefore other vessel movements are considered to have contributed to the incident experienced at the pools,’ the report by the harbour master Chad Murray states.
‘CCTV footage shows numerous young people running and jumping into the water when a change in sea conditions arrive at the pools. This backs up the view of many individuals that the bathing pools are not always being used for ‘bathing’ any more and are often used for children and young people to jump into deep water. Young people regularly go to the pools for the purpose of getting into the swell and waves as they hit the pools.’
The report concludes that it is ‘highly likely’ that the change in sea conditions at the pool were caused by waterbourne activity, and preceding the incident there was a high volume of leisure and commercial craft movements.