Salcombe Harbour Authority is advising those taking to the water this summer on how to stay safe on boats.
Following a serious, but rare, incident at the weekend involving youngsters on the water, and in a bid to encourage locals and visitors to keep safe while having fun in the harbour, the Harbour Master is sharing key boat safety information.
The campaign aims to remind boat users to wear a ‘kill cord’. This red cord has a quick-release fastening at one end and a clip at the other. The quick-release fastening is attached to the boat’s instrument panel and the other end is attached securely to the driver; making sure that the outboard engine cuts out if the driver falls overboard.
This is especially important to avoid another ‘Padstow’ type incident where a family suffered fatalities and life changing injuries when they were thrown from their boat and collided with it, while it was out of control in a high speed turn.
Salcombe Harbour Master, Cameron Sims-Stirling, said: “We want everyone to enjoy everything the harbour has to offer and to do that, we call on boat owners to take sensible precautions before taking to the water.”
If you are planning on driving small pleasure boats this summer, there are no set requirements for safety equipment, however, it is important that you are properly equipped before going on the water.
Have a safe day out by remembering to use:
life jackets which fit
stay within the speed limit – 6 knots (kts) in the estuary
don’t mix alcohol and boating
All equipment should be checked regularly for damage to make sure it is fit for purpose. It is also important that lifejackets come in different sizes, so make sure you have one which fits you properly.
South Hams District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Commercial Services, Cllr Rufus Gilbert, said: “It is important that this safety message is heard far and wide by both our residents and our visitors. We hope that accidents can easily be avoided if these simple measures are followed.”