Acting Director of Shipping Captain Raman Bala is reminding boat owners to practice safety at sea particularly for the August Festival boat races.
Captain Bala said the public, participants, boat owners and mariners must always remember that their safety comes first as the “Boat Drama Club” prepares to host the 2018 Festival Boat Races on August 5 at the Romney Park.
“The safety of the users of our pristine waters is of utmost importance,” Captain Bala said. He added, “Apart from sailing and power boating, the BVI is host to various water sports activities such as swimming, snorkeling, paddle boarding, diving, surfing, kite surfing etc. Therefore, safety measures must be strictly observed to avoid any accident or incident.”
Participants of reminded of the following safety rules.
- Always maintain a sharp lookout for persons that may be in the water and other users of our water ways.
- All participants are to operate only within the designated area during the competition.
- All boats should be fit for purpose and fitted with the necessary equipment for safe navigation.
- Masters are reminded to always proceed at a safe speed, maintain a proper look out and obey the Collision Regulations (Rules of the Road) as well as the rules of the Boat Races.
- When within a harbor or anchorage (e.g. surrounding waters in close proximity to the races), proceed at a safe speed not exceeding (5) Knots.
- Prepare for and practice your emergency response for accidents and incidents such as man overboard, drowning, collision and serious injury etc. prior to the Boat Races.
- Responsibility for safe operation lies with the Master of the vessel.
The public and other water users are reminded to:
- Be aware of boats going at full speed within the designated area of the event during the races.
- Avoid water sport activities in the area of the Boat Races for the duration of the competition if possible.
The Virgin Islands Shipping Registry seeks to ensure that Virgin Islands ships can safely, securely and efficiently enjoy the freedom of the seas and the support of a vigorous and effective Maritime Administration. For more information, telephone the Virgin Islands Shipping Registry at 468-2902.