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ACBDA stresses water safety

An unprecedented number of private boats will be on Bermuda's waters during the America's Cup, according to ACBDA.

As such, the organisers have stressed the importance of water safety, reiterating the rules and regulations.

“Some 2,000 private and public craft have registered for spectator flags, and that number keeps growing, so boaters can watch the action on the Great Sound making water safety even more important than ever,” said a ACBDA press release.

“Caution on the water will be essential, with boat owners urged to be aware of their surroundings at all times, not just when watching the race, but importantly to proceed in a sensible manner to and from the race action on the Great Sound.”

Between May 26 and June 27, boat owners should be aware of the following points:

• Speed Limits — Stick to the speed limits and no wake zones around the racecourse and when coming in to Dockyard or indeed any harbour. Bermuda Marine Police vessels will be in the area strictly enforcing speed limits. Familiarise yourself with event specific no wake zones as outlined in the Notice to Mariners, at And in general, make sure that your wake does not cause problems for other boaters;

• Wakes —There have been previous events around the world where a large number of boats in a confined area have created excessive and confused wake when they all move at the same time, which could prove dangerous. Please proceed slowly to and from the racecourse;

• Lifejackets — You should have one for every person on-board and every child on-board should always wear a life jacket or flotation device when boating:

• Taking a dip — There is to be absolutely no swimming in spectator areas;

• Drinking — Do not drink and drive. As on land, it is better to have a designated driver;

• Sun care — It will be hot and without a lot of shade on your boat when you are in the direct sun. Stay hydrated and apply sunscreen at regular intervals;

• Watching the races — Boats will be positioned in the spectator areas according to size — boats under 40ft in front, those 40ft and larger, behind. Superyachts will be positioned in a different part of the course to avoid anchoring with much smaller boats. Official spectator boats will be carefully positioned along the course to encourage maximum safety for all;

• Wake watch — At times there will be a lot of wake so sailboats should ensure their booms are secured properly;

• Getting home — Please drive slowly. This can become the most unsafe moment of the day, when everyone tries to leave at speed and in an unorganised fashion, it creates significant chop so please do your part to keep the water as smooth as possible;

• Always stay clear of the America's Cup Class (ACC) race boats and the Red Bull Youth America's Cup race yachts at all times;

• Please keep all trash on board and dispose properly when you return to dock. Do not discard anything into the waters.

Other points to note throughout the 35th America's Cup:

• Traffic into Dockyard is regulated, call VHF channel 77 if you need fuel at Pier 41 marina;

• Monitor Marina VHF channel 20 for live race commentary;

• Display your spectator flag clearly;

• Stay in the spectator area that corresponds to your flag.

In the event of an emergency call Marine VHF 16 or 911 for immediate assistance. The Bermuda Marine Police Service will have vessels on the water throughout the event to keep the spectator fleet safe.

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Published May 27, 2017 at 1:08 am (Updated May 27, 2017 at 1:09 am)

ACBDA stresses water safety

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