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Weeks highlights water safety

The Bermuda Water Safety Council gave tips about safety on the water

Summer water safety was highlighted yesterday as the boating season gets into full swing.

Michael Weeks, the chairman of the Water Safety Council, said everyone using boats should rate safety as the “number one priority”.

He added: “Recently, there was a marine incident where a young woman was injured and required medical assistance at a large event that involved swimmers and a vessels in close proximity.

“Such events are common in Bermuda and can be raft-ups, boat races and any other marine events.”

Mr Weeks, also a Progressive Labour Party MP, said basic tips to ensure safety were:

• Check weather conditions prior to setting sail.

• Make sure the vessel is seaworthy and safe for passengers and crew.

• Log a float plan with Bermuda Radio or a responsible person so that emergency services are aware of the boat’s location.

• Check to ensure the VHF radio is operational and use Channel 27 for a radio check with Bermuda Radio.

• Make sure all required safety equipment, which includes navigation lights, life jackets, life rings and flares, are on board.

• Watch the boat’s speed and wake.

• Be courteous to other boat users.

• Be responsible and do not drink and pilot a boat.

Mr Weeks added that the Department of Marine and Ports Boats and Moorings Section at the old Paget Post Office, could provide information on water safety to the public.

He said that marine incidents should be reported to the Marine Police on Channel 16 or Bermuda Radio on Channel 16 and Channel 27.

Mr Weeks added: “I ask all mariners to be vigilant of their surroundings at all times. All of Bermuda can have an enjoyable time on the water while boating or swimming.”