Boaters urged to take care in face of changeable weather

| 02/03/2017 | 6 Comments

(CNS): The Joint Marine Unit is urging local boat users to take care out on the water. Although the distress calls so far this year have not been high with slightly calmer waters, the sea can still be treacherous and preparation is the best safety measure that can be taken before any journey offshore. Inspector Leo Anglin, RCIPS Marine Commander, warned people to remain vigilant, especially with forecast of changeable weather this coming month.

“We have not had many distress calls so far this year but we do expect some cold fronts in March that will make the weather unpredictable going forward,” Anglin said. “With our technology and portable devices now, though, everyone can be better informed than ever before each voyage. The first and best preparation before boating is to check the weather.”

The RCIPS Joint Marine Unit said fishermen and boaters should have their VHF radios on board, their mobile phones charged, a life vest for each passenger, and notify the Port Authority before departure for an offshore location. The Port Authority should be advised of the name of the boat, where it plans to travel, the number of passengers on board and their names, and when they expect to return.

“Effective communications is critical in an emergency,” added Insp Anglin. “Have as many means of communication available on board as possible, such as a satellite phone, radio and mobile phone; should something happen to one of these, then you should have at least one back-up.”

The safety reminders come in the wake of a new report from the UK Coastguard which revealed the amount of calls the police and the joint marine unit, in particular, is handling on an annual basis with very limited resources. Last year the JMU deal with 45 people or vessels in distress, eight search and rescues and a dozen sudden deaths, as well as 4 boat interdictions, ten marine related thefts and another four marine related investigations.

In order to avoid being the subject of one of their calls, police urged boat owners to use GPS tracking devices and flares on all boats.

A general boating safety clip produced by Government Information Services can be viewed below:

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Category: Local News

Comments (6)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    but if you’re out picking up drugs whilst pretending to be fishing, just ignore because it will give a minister the chance to blame the old bill, when they don’t return.


  2. Anonymous says:

    How about charging rescued boaters the cost of the operation to “save” them? After a few boaters are publically charged then the rest will buck up and take the required precautions. Otherwise they will not call for help and take their chances. Why should the taxpayer be responsible for idiots?


    • Anonymous says:

      Pal, if being an idiot warranted a slow death sentence by exposure, drowning, and marine predation – few of us would be around to talk so glibly. We should always help people, regardless of their human miscalculations.


  3. Anonymous says:

    Realistically, flares and cell phones are of limited assistance beyond 10 miles. VHF without an antennae has the about the same range and isn’t always monitored. You’re literally a “needle in the haystack” of the great blue expanse. Anyone heading offshore that would want to call for help, AND be found in one piece, needs an EPIRB with a good battery that will keep on transmitting coordinates as you drift in the water. It should be essential equipment on all of our fishing tournament boats. In situation of mortal peril, you will want to signal that right away via satellite and be found in the first hour, not the next morning, or clinging to a boat cooler three days later. If CIG wants to help, they could allow EPIRBs to be duty free for a one-time 6 month period so people can get with the times. Let’s drop our marine crisis death rate to zero.


  4. Anonymous says:

    Another drowning of a snorkeller on Northside yesterday, 2 kids rescued.
    Don’t know details but sad.



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