Chairman of Bermuda’s Water Safety Council, Michael Weeks, issued an appeal for residents and visitors alike, to think safety first while enjoying hot summer fun out on and in the water, particularly when using boats where safety should be the “number one priority”.
Speaking at a news conference yesterday (June 26), Mr Weeks noted that a young woman has already been injured, at the recent raft up at Shelly Bay during Carnival celebrations, who “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,” he said.
The Progressive Labour Party MP also highlighted basic tips to ensure water safety:
- 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, now located at the old Paget Post Office, provides information on water safety to the public.
He also issued a reminder that marine incidents should be reported to the Marine Police on Channel 16 or Bermuda Radio on Channel 16 and Channel 27.
“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.
“Lastly, I ask all mariners to be vigilant of your surroundings at all times. All of Bermuda can have an enjoyable time on the water while boating or swimming. However, water safety must be a number one priority!”