RCIPS issues tips for holiday boat safety

| 18/12/2018
CNS Local Life

RCIPS vessel Cayman Protector

(CNS Local Life): The RCIPS Joint Marine Unit(JMU)  has issued an advisory for taking part in watersports over the holidays, especially boating and diving. The JMU noted that from November through April Cayman can be subject to strong winds and weather conditions that can affect people’s ability to go out on their boats.

“These changes in the weather sometimes occur suddenly and as a result we are asking that persons who intend to participate in water sporting activities to always exercise caution,” said the JMU in a press release.

Below are tips for planning a boating trip:

  1. Boaters should always check the weather to ensure that it is safe to operate your boats and other water vehicles. Not only check the weather for that day, but in the days following, especially if you are going beyond the confines of the reef.
  2. Boaters should ensure that they have a float plan. Notify the Port Authority or your relatives when you are departing, how many persons you have on board, your intended destination or area of activity and your estimated time of return to shore. Should your destination change, give notice of that change. Should you experience difficulties, notify Port Authority immediately of those difficulties, whether you are in a life threatening situation, whether you require an immediate rescue response, or if you require assistance from a third party and the contact for the third party. Finally, notify the Port Authority or your relatives upon your return.
  3. Captains should ensure that their radios and other communication devices (cell phones) are in good working order and on the proper channels when going out on the water.
  4. Boaters should ensure that their boats are properly equipped with lights, flares and other safety gear, especially when going out at night.
  5. Captains should ensure that they have at least one life vest on board for each person on board, and it is recommended that everyone is wearing them when the boat is travelling on the water.

When out on the waters, boaters should also ensure that they follow the below rules:

  1. Boaters should ensure that they do not operate a vessel whilst under the influence of alcohol. Drinking alcohol impairs your judgement and your kinetics and therefore affects your operations of the vessel, thus endangering your life, the lives of your passenger and maybe even others.
  2. Boaters and waverunner operators should ensure that they pay close attention for swimmers and snorkelers when they are close to shore and in populated areas to avoid injury and loss of life. Even in a designated water sports area, you are still responsible to operate your vessel in a safe manner that does not endanger others.
  3. Swimmers and snorkelers are asked to pay special attention to the water sport areas on the media and to avoid those areas if you plan on swimming and snorkelling, as there could be lots of vessel activity close to shore.
  4. Boat owners must be a responsible adult, and are reminded that children under the age of 15 years are not allowed to operate the vessel, unless under the supervision of a person over that age.

Below is a video showing additional tips for boating and water safety:

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Category: Civil Service, Police

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