Water Safety Council to hold night-time boat safety seminar
Mariners will get a rare chance to practise firing rockets and flares at a boat safety seminar and cruise later this month.
They will also learn about night-time navigating and life jacket use at the Bermuda Water Safety Council event on October 20 — but they must register to be able to take part.
Council chairman Ralph Richardson, a former commodore of the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club, said most boaters never got the opportunity to fire a flare until they really needed to and they then often had no idea what to do.
“If you have a fire or an accident there is no time to read the instructions,” he said. “It's a rare opportunity to operate and see it operated.
“So few people have ever fired a flare or rocket because you are not allowed to test them out. The last time we did this was in 1981.”
The council is asking mariners to drop off expired flares and rockets at a collection bin at Tynes Bay waste facility until October 14 and those which are not too far past their expiration date may be used as part of the demonstrations.
He said a major reason for the seminar and cruise, which 100 people will be able to take part in, was to try to reduce the number of night-time accidents at sea in Bermuda.
“Earlier in the summer, the marine police reported that there were two night boat accidents,” he said, adding that at least one had resulted in serious injury to a woman.
Mr Richardson, who is working on a third edition of his book ‘Bermuda Boater', said several people had lost their lives during night boat accidents in the last few decades and accidents happened because it was much more difficult to steer a craft at night.
The cruise and seminar is open to anyone over the age of 12, though those under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. A $5 donation is suggested for taking part. To register e-mail Nathan Trott at email@example.com.