Busy port traffic problems "solved", claim new floating traffic island company.

NRI inc (Nautical Roundabout Initiatives Inc) have launched a new traffic island type navigation system in the french port of Les Sables d'Olonne.
Les Sables d'Olonne is the home port of the legendary Vendée Globe Race, this makes Les Sables d'Olonne the world capital of monohull sailing.

Apparently the level of boats moving around the port has created the need for this new approach that follows the principles of a road traffic island.

A large suspended yellow keel marker represents the centre of the island and boat traffic must respond accordingly.
In a statement NRI Inc describe how boats should use the new system : These "nautical roundabouts" function exactly the same as road based versions, they require entering traffic to give way to traffic already in the circle and optimally observe various design rules to increase safety. Compared to traditional nautical navigation rules these modern roundabouts reduce the likelihood and severity of collisions by reducing traffic speeds and minimizing T-bone and head-on collisions. Plus the need not display lights and signals means less energy is used in the port, this adds to environmental benefits.

Some local fishing boats and commercial vessel operators have raised concerns that international visitors may be confused by the new "Roundabout" or "Island" system.

This weekend sees the arrival of famous Irish sailor Enda O’Coineen on his solo journey to return home with the IMOCA Open 60 Le Souffle du Nord-Kilcullen Team Ireland.

Avril Poisson, a local french boat owner, commented : "Edna O’Coineen is from Ireland and they drive their cars on left hand side of the road, unlike the French who drive on the right, faced with a traffic island situation French and Irish drivers are generally conditioned to travel around roundabouts in opposite directions!"

At the time of going to press NRI Inc. claimed that: "No one was available for comment"