FRIDAY, MAY 18: It’s a holiday and you want to relax. But even a fun, leisurely boat trip and simple swim can end badly if you do not take precautions.
Follow these tips from the Bermuda Water Safety Council to make sure you put safety first this holiday.
Before casting off check the weather forecast a day in advance and monitor forecasts by Bermuda Harbour Radio (Channel 27 VHF).
Create a float plan from the point of leaving the dock to the time you return.
Make sure your equipment is in good working order (ie. engine, radio, bilge pumps, steering) and you have enough fuel.
Ensure all safety requirements are aboard.
Inform Harbour Radio before leaving the dock via 16 VHF or call 297-1010.
No vessels — including Jet Skis — may exceed five knots (9.2 km/h) within 100 metres of the shoreline and any moored or anchored vessel, or people in the water.
Reduce speed to a dead slow when passing docks, bays and congested areas.
Sitting on the bow is illegal.
Any vessel towing a waterskier, boat, wake board or other device must have someone as a lookout.
People being towed must wear a PFD (personal flotation device), and all activities must be 200 feet from the shoreline.
On the beach
Ensure close supervision of children, keeping them within your sight and reach.
Never let children swim alone or play unsupervised with inflatable toys. Prohibit them from diving from heights.
Obey safety signs and lifeguards’ advice.
Never swim alone, always go with a buddy.
Never swim when you are cold or tired, and know your limits.
Stay out of the water if Portuguese Man o’ War or other jellyfish are spotted.
If in doubt stay out.