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.
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
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 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.
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)
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.
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