The local authority had given Blue Seas Protection — which the council understands is not a registered charity — until Sunday just gone (12th May) to move the 28-ton former rescue vessel from its land, close to Ryde Harbour.
The group was warned the council reserved the right to move the craft to a secure location should it remain there after this time. However, no response was received from the owner.
The council is now taking legal advice and has been liaising with both the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth.
Officers contacted Blue Seas Protection last week outlining their concerns over the security of the vessel – which the group has put up for sale at £185,000 – and the potential for it to become a hazard to navigation. The Council first made contact at the end of April after the vessel ran aground whilst being towed into Ryde Harbour on 27th April.
The council are reiterating that the group did not seek permission to use the harbour as a permanent berth for the vessel prior to its purchase. There are a number of other harbours on the Isle of Wight that may be able to meet their needs.
Berthing of the 19-metre boat in the area proposed would reduce the number of available visitor berths at Ryde Harbour during the peak summer season and would impinge on the movement of adjacent vessels. The RIB does not have any working engines and therefore cannot be easily moved.
A winter berth has been offered to Blue Seas Protection although this would not be available until 1st November 2019 and would need to be vacated by 31st March 2020.
The council notes the group already has one boat in the harbour which is not being kept in accordance with the terms and conditions of the harbour, in that it has not demonstrated the craft is insured.
The council also understands, that while Blue Seas Protection has applied for charitable status, it is not yet a registered charity or recognised as a constituted charitable trust by the Charities Aid Foundation.