Practice boating safety over holidays

With many people taking to the seas this holiday season the RCIPS Marine Department is reminding the public that not only is road safety an important issue over this festive season, but boating and marine safety is an issue that should be taken just as seriously.

Here are some helpful tips in ensuring that boating trips are safe and accident free:

? Always ensure that everyone on board the vessel wears a life vest – it is required by law to have a Personal Floatation Device, PFD.

? Check engine, fuel and navigational equipment before every outing.

? Always tell others where you intend to go and approximate time of return.

? Carry some means of calling for help at all times (VHF radio or cell phone).

? Check weather predictions and tides before going out and whilst at sea.

? Keep fire extinguishers on board; preferably at the most fire sensitive areas of your vessel.

? Never drink and operate a vessel – alcohol tends to affect a person more on the water.

? Observe Port Authority rules and regulations.

Inspector Brad Ebanks of the Marine Department stated that following these simple rules can save lives.

‘Many incidents can be avoided with some basic safety knowledge. This is the time of year when weather can change rapidly and I caution mariners to ensure that their vessels are fully equipped with the proper equipment and to exercise caution during the Christmas season. ‘