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Coastguard urges caution during holiday weekend

The Royal Bermuda Regiment Coastguard (Photograph courtesy of the Royal Bermuda Regiment)

Residents and visitors who plan to celebrate the May 24 holiday on the water have been urged to exercise caution and observe safety protocols.

The date traditionally marks the first day of summer, when Bermuda’s coastline becomes populated with raft-ups, boats and swimmers.

Members of the community were asked by the Royal Bermuda Regiment Coastguard to be mindful of the dangers of the sea.

The RBR said coastguard teams will step up patrols over summer to support boat operators and ensure that they act responsibly for the enjoyment of everyone on and around shorelines.

Authorities will also look out for offences such as operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, lack of appropriate vessel safety equipment and breaches of Marine and Ports licensing regulations.

Captain Jason Harrell, the acting officer commanding for the regiment’s coastguard unit, said: “We know people want to enjoy themselves and maybe party while out on the water, but we urge the boating public to be mindful of other members of the community, fellow boat operators and nearby householders.

“Please be considerate if you’re playing music, especially late at night.

“We want you and your guests to be able to make the most of Bermuda’s beautiful waters, and the majority of people need no reminders about the responsibility that comes with operating a vessel, but it’s important that boat users take some time before they head out to ensure that safety comes first.”

Boat operators were reminded that float plans should be filed with a friend or Bermuda Radio before leaving shore and should include the vessel’s name, how many people are on board, the intended route or destination and the anticipated time of return.

Captain Harrell added: “The RBR Coastguard will provide information via posts on our Instagram account about safety equipment, safe boating practices and any restrictions regarding activities on the water, if and when they are issued.

“We thank members of the public for their consideration and hope behaviour will be modified to ensure a happy and safe summer for everyone on the water.”

Safe boating rules

By law, one fitting life jacket must be available for every person in the boat.

For boats required to carry flares, dye, rockets and smoke, now is a good time to check that they are in date.

Boaters must not exceed the five-knot speed limit and must operate at a speed such that no wake is created within 100m from shore.

Appropriate safety equipment, such as fire extinguishers, must be carried for the size of the vessel, and navigation lights must be in working order while operating at night.

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Published May 23, 2024 at 8:05 am (Updated May 23, 2024 at 8:05 am)

Coastguard urges caution during holiday weekend

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