Be safe at sea

Before you set out to sea in your watercraft remember:

Monitor the weather and tides

Advise Jersey Coastguard by logging a traffic report

Your vessel – have you done your checks?

Distress – always have a means of calling for help

Are you trained and competent for where you plan to go?

Your safety – make sure you're wearing your lifejacket

 

Download the Jet Skis & Safety at Sea guide

 

Download the guide to personal watercraft use in Jersey (size 943kb)

Life-jackets and floatation devices

You should always wear a life-jacket or floatation device for any water-related activities, even in shallow water. It will keep your head above the water should you fall in which, if you are unconscious, could mean the difference between breathing or drowning.

 

Don’t take risks

If you are uncertain or need advice, in conjunction with the RNLI, Jersey Coastguard can provide you with an 'Advice on Board' session.

This free service can be done on a range of watercraft including boats, kayaks and jet-skis and will show you the safety equipment you need to carry and what to do when things go wrong. Lifejacket inspections can also be done. For further details contact Jersey Coastguard directly on +44 (0) 1534 447705.

 

Tides

Jersey has some of the largest tidal ranges in the world, rising by as much as 12 metres in one tide. In as little as 10 minutes you could be cut off from land.

Remember to check the tide times and make sure they fit with what you're planning to do and the route you're planning to take.

Try the tide calculator

 

Weather

Check the weather forecast before you set off. If you're planning to be on the water for any significant amount of time, make sure you get regular updates from the local media and be prepared to change your plans or cancel the trip if the forecast is not favourable.

VHF Channel 82 weather broadcast times

06:45 local time     12:45 UTC

​07:45 local time     18:45 UTC

08:45 local time     22:45 UTC

Jersey Met website

 

Tombstoning

Tombstoning is an extremely dangerous activity, which can cause serious or life-threatening injuries. 

During the summer months when the temperatures rise, more and more people are tempted or even pressured into jumping off structures without knowing if there is sufficient water below them. Contact with dangers below the surface can often result in life-changing injuries or even death. 

Jersey Coastguard urges people to think twice about leaping into the unknown.

 

Contingency plans and information ashore

Before you set out to sea, give some thought to places you can take refuge in if weather and / or sea conditions deteriorate or you suffer an injury. Don’t over-rely on a GPS unit. Think about if you're able to reach safety if it stopped working. 

Tell someone ashore of your plans and make sure they know what to do if they haven’t heard from you after an agreed time, such as contacting Jersey Coastguard.

Contact Jersey Coastguard on +44(0)1534 447705 or VHF CH 82 with details of your planned route. Make sure you let them know when you’ve returned.

 

Speed limits

Similar to public roads, speed limits also apply to areas of sea around Jersey and penalties can be incurred if you go over these limits. Speed limits can vary. Please refer to the document below for details of these speed limits.

Download maps showing 5 knot speed limit areas (size 2.5mb)

 

Navigational dangers

There are numerous navigational dangers you need to look out for when out at sea. If you are unsure, contact Jersey Coastguard who will be pleased to advise you.

 

Distress calls

If you do find yourself in a dangerous situation on the water, or if you see someone in difficulty, phone 999 or 112 immediately and ask for Jersey Coastguard.​ 

Jersey Coastguard safety at sea ​video on YouTube

Credit for video production: ITV Channel Television