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Boating Safety Tips

Boating Safety Tips

Whether it is on a boat, personal water craft or when you are swimming and snorkelling; we want to ensure that everyone remains safe and incident free. With that being said we would like to encourage boaters especially to utilize the following tips:

Ensure that they do not operate a vessel whilst under the influence of alcohol. Even though operating a vessel whilst under the influence of alcohol is not an offence specific to any CI law, drinking alcohol impairs your judgement and your kinetics and therefore affects your operations of the vessel, thus endangering your life, the lives of your passengers and maybe even other water user.

Boaters should ensure that their boats are properly equipped with navigational lights and other safety gear, especially when going out at night.

The boat captain must be a responsible adult, and boaters should ensure that children under the age of 15 are not allowed to operate the vessel, especially in heavily populated areas and rough sea conditions.

Captains should ensure that they have sufficient life vests on board, one for each passenger, and that all passengers are wearing them when the boat is travelling on the water, especially young children and those who are not strong swimmers.

Captains should ensure that their radios and other two way communication devices such as cell phones are in good working order and on the proper channels when going out on the water.

Boaters should regularly check the weather to ensure that it is safe to operate boats and other water vehicles.  This means not only checking the weather for that day, but in the days following, especially if they are planning on are traveling beyond the confines of the reef.

Boaters and personal water craft operators should ensure that they pay close attention for swimmers and snorkelers in the water when they are close to shore and in busy areas to avoid injury and loss of life.

Boaters should ensure that they have a float plan.  Notify the Port Authority or your relatives when you are departing, how many souls you have on-board, your intended destination or area of activity and your estimated time of return to shore. Should your destination change, ensure that you provide notice of the changes. 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.

Swimmers and snorkelers are asked to pay special attention to the water sports areas on the media and to avoid those areas if you plan any swimming and snorkelling activities.

This message is brought to you by the RCIPS Joint Marine Unit and the Cayman Islands Port Authority.