Council says slipway barriers at Margate will prevent use which blocks RNLI access

Thanet council wants to stop unauthorised access

Thanet council says new barriers installed at the Margate Harbour slipway are to prevent unauthorised access and irresponsible parking blocking the area. The slipway is used by the RNLI to launch lifeboats.

The barriers were installed earlier this month.

When drawing up the council’s Beach Management Plan, which was introduced in July, this area was identified as a place where people frequently launch water bikes, which is not permitted. Launches at this location not only obstruct access for the RNLI but also compromise the safety of swimmers.

Throughout the summer, significant council resources were used to prevent access at the location. Using intelligence gathered by council CCTV operatives, the Duty Beach Supervisor and TDC Civil Enforcement Officers regularly attended the slipway to prevent a number of groups of jet bikers from launching at the site. Staff were able to direct the groups to the designated launching sites instead.

Photo John Horton

Anyone wishing to launch watercraft along the Thanet coast needs public liability insurance and membership of the Water User Group.

It is hoped that the new barriers will also reduce the number of vehicles attempting to drive onto the beach, at a risk of being stuck on the sand.

There are four designated parts of the Thanet coastline where water bikes are allowed to launch, including sites in Margate and Ramsgate. Full details can be found on the council website.


  1. The nuisance caused by these things will just move elsewhere in Thanet. They have been a manace on Ramsgate’s Main Beach and Pegwell Bay all summer. The powers that be seem to be helpless.
    Beach Supervisor? What are they?

  2. It’s about time the barriers were installed at the harbour. They were just installed in the last few days. At least the lifeboat people have control. As well as barriers around the district there are plenty people break the locks they get replaced also the council lorries and vans that are permitted on the promenades where installed the men leave the gates open the one at the nayland rock shelter is always left open by them.

  3. Jet skis are still using the harbour at Margate at high tide when swimmers are there. An accident waiting to happen

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