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Department of Transport Reports substantial increase in Visitors to Island on Private Vessels 10 July 2006

The 2006 TT fortnight proved to be the busiest yet for the Douglas and Peel Harbour Control Teams. Visitor figures collected by the Department of Transport were up significantly, with 202 private vessels carrying 709 people on board arriving at Douglas and 80 vessels carrying 230 people on board at Peel for the 2006 TT Festival compared to 177 vessels carrying 522 people in total on board last year.

Both Douglas and Peel Harbours are really benefiting from the water retention schemes which have been in operation in Douglas for 5 years and Peel for just over a year. The schemes are largely credited with the increasing popularity of the Island with private vessel owners, together with the excellent facilities now available at the Douglas Harbour.

The water retention schemes allow vessels to stay afloat at all states of tide. The pontoons at Douglas Harbour are extremely popular and are often full to capacity, with their easy connections to supplies and services as well as shower and toilet facilities close by.

Whilst there are no pontoons at Peel Harbour just yet, the water retention scheme there has improved safety measures for all concerned and invigorated the Harbour with the new bridge that also gives pedestrians easy access to Fenella Beach and Peel Castle.

Captain Michael Brew, Director of Harbours comments

“We are delighted with the positive feedback we are receiving from our visitors. They really appreciate the improvements we have made at Douglas and Peel Harbours. We have also received some enthusiastic support from various editorial features in certain yachting magazines, which together with word of mouth recommendations have helped to boost the number of private vessels visiting the Island.”

The Department of Transport monitors the service it provides to visitors via feedback forms which are distributed in an information pack everyone receives on arrival at Douglas Harbour. Whilst the new facilities are getting thumbs up, the feedback forms confirm that the friendly welcome and helpful advice received from the Harbour Keepers is also highly appreciated.

Both Peel and Douglas have two full time Harbour Keepers, who manage all the arrivals and departures in their own areas. The Douglas Team are also on hand to connect vessels to the supplies and services on dry land, as well as keeping the Harbour clean and well maintained.

Harbour Control has an operational staff of eleven full time personnel, with at least two people on watch at any one time. It is a 24-seven service, 365 days a year. Harbour Control is in charge of coordinating all the traffic in and out of the Harbour, including management of the bridges and making sure strict safety levels are adhered to.

The Island’s Harbours have worked hard to secure a glowing reputation for its facilities and efficient professionalism. This was clearly illustrated during this years TT Festival, when the Douglas Team coordinated the departure of 3 vessels and the arrival of 43 vessels through the Harbour Bridge in just 10 minutes! You can’t get any better than that.

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