Water safety advice

27 May 2020

Following a series of tragic incidents around the South West coast over the past few days, we would like to stress to port users that although the waterways remain open and recreational water activities are now permitted, users should ensure they take the necessary precautions to prevent themselves getting into difficulty.

To prevent additional strain on Coastguard Teams, Lifeboats, and other emergency services at these unprecedented times, we encourage all water users to follow the simple advice below:

  • Check your vessel / craft before going afloat, including that it is watertight, has sufficient (and reserve) clean fuel, has clean filters, and that the engine is run prior to departing your berth/launch site.
  • Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid https://rnli.org/safety/lifejackets.
  • Where fitted, wear the Killcord.
  • Check the weather forecast and tide times, to ensure you don’t get caught out. Met Office Weather Tide Times
  • If swimming, swim with a buddy, within your own ability, and only swim in the dedicated swimming areas when inside port limits (Cawsand, Bovisand, Tinside, Firestone Bay). There is no swimming in the Cattewater.
  • Tell someone ashore where you are going and when you will be back.
  • Carry a means of calling for help (VHF Radio, or mobile phone in waterproof case).
  • If you get into or see someone else in difficulty, call the Coastguard VHF 16 (or dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard).

In addition, over recent days we have seen a number of ‘near misses’ in the Port which could have easily resulted in serious injuries to water users. When using the waterways, obey the rules and be considerate to other water users.

near miss between a paddle boarder and personal watercraft, near Oreston Slipway, captured by the Harbour’s CCTV system

We encourage members of the public to report cases of anti-social behaviour on the water, to allow us to investigate and take action where appropriate. Any incidents or near misses occurring in the harbour must also be reported to the harbour office.

More RNLI Safety Advice is available here https://rnli.org/safety.

Enjoy your time afloat, be considerate to other users, and take steps to keep yourself safe.