"Make the most of the weather but stay safe" - Jersey Coastguard

From Jersey Coastguard,
20 April 2018

With the current fine weather conditions, which are expected to continue, Jersey Coastguard is issuing a timely reminder for those taking to the water as part of its continuing ‘Safety @ Sea’ campaign.

Water users and beach ramblers are reminded to check tidal conditions and timings before heading off. With a such a large tidal range in Jersey waters, people can find themselves stranded by the rising tides or even swept from rocks into the sea due to large swells, even on calm days. Tide times and expected conditions are available via various sources, including the local media, websites and boat yards. Copies of the 2018 tide tables can also be collected (at no charge) from the Marine Leisure Centre on St Helier’s New North Quay. People can also check expected conditions from lifeguards on patrolled beaches.

Similarly, the current weather and expected forecast should also be referred to before heading out as conditions around the Channel Islands can change quickly. Even on warm days the temperature will drop quickly after sunset and getting wet from the sea and rain will increase the possibility of hypothermia. If heading off towards evening a change of warm clothes and waterproofs are recommended as is a torch for attracting attention if need be.  Although sea temperatures start to rise at this time of the year they are currently only 10 degrees, which is likely to cause cold water shock to anyone not used to low water temperatures.  

It is vital to have some form of communication so ensure a mobile phone is fully charged; although phone signals can be weak or non-existent below cliffs. Ensure that someone else is aware beforehand of proposed plans and an expected time of returning so that if necessary, an alarm can be raised.

Jersey Coastguard & VTS Manager, Aaron Gavey says, “While we encourage the public to take advantage of Jersey’s fantastic coastline, especially on fine days, their safety while at or near the sea is of the utmost importance to us. The advice we provide isn’t new, or is it meant as a deterrent from people taking to and enjoying the sea but is in this case a timely reminder of some key pointers; even those who regularly visit the coast of take to the water can often, unintentionally, overlook this helpful information.”

In recent weeks Jersey Coastguard and fellow Island Emergency Services have had to respond to a number of incidents whereby people have become stranded by the rising tide or swept from rocks. Fortunately, all of these people were rescued by the appropriate services but as Mr Gavey continues, “We send out these frequent reminders to everyone exploring or enjoying our fabulous coastline to take the appropriate precautions to ensure they have an enjoyable day that ends safely without putting their lives or those of others at risk”.

Representatives from Jersey Coastguard and other Emergency Services will be attending the annual Barclays Jersey Boat Show this forthcoming Spring Bank Holiday weekend (05 – 07 May 2018) and will be available to meet with the public and provide handy advice. In the meantime, for more useful safety tips visit jerseycoatguard.je

If members of the public see someone who might be in difficulties or have concerns for someone whose return is overdue dial 999 and ask for Jersey Coastguard

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Jersey Coastguard