Police officers from the Joint Marine Unit are reminding people that it’s important to be safety conscious when heading out to sea.
During the past five months, the unit has been involved in more than 30 search and rescue operations, according to a news release issued by the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
“Making sure people are safe at sea is a top priority for the Joint Marine Unit,” said Sergeant Clive Smith. “But it’s clear that many people fail to take account of the weather conditions before setting off and people are still heading out to sea ill-equipped.
“We are also starting to receive an increased number of reports about people on jets skis travelling far too close to swimmers and snorkellers. If people don’t start using common sense and adopting the proper safety procedures when they are on the water then I’m afraid it won’t be too long before we have yet another serious incident or fatality.”
Sergeant Smith has issued the following safety advice.
Before going to sea
Check weather report and sea state; at this time of year seas can be rough from cold fronts, especially on the west and north sides of the Grand Cayman;
Fill out a float plan and inform someone of your intended departure and returning points including ETA;
Ensure that the vessel has a personal life vest for each person on-board as well as –
Working VHF radio and cell phone;
Sufficient VRO/ engine oil;
Ensure when launching the vessel that the bung/ drain plug has been inserted to avoid sinking.
Safe operation of vessels
Obey the Port Authority Law by not exceeding 5 knots within 200 yards of the shore line and 50 yards of any vessel at anchor;
Always be on the lookout for any divers, swimmers or snorkellers who may be in the water.