Crime

Police issue water safety message

People who break the rules on the water will be targeted by the authorities over the Cup Match weekend.

The Bermuda Coastguard will join the Bermuda Police Service, the Bermuda Reserve Police and the Royal Bermuda Regiment to press home the marine safety message.

They will focus on boaters operating a vehicle under the influence of drink or drugs, speeding and jet ski operators who ride dangerously near swimmers and raft ups.

A police spokesman said: “In the absence of the cricket game it is anticipated that Bermudians will be flocking to the beaches and getting out on the water.

“As part of our ‘no surprises’ approach to planning for this weekend the Bermuda Coastguard has asked that the public keep safety in mind and remember to follow the Covid-19 Emergency Powers Regulations and guidelines while still enjoying the Cup Match holiday.

“Throughout the Cup Match holiday weekend, the Coastguard will be undertaking a host of initiatives to ensure the safety of the marine community both in the area of Covid-19 transmission and also to guard against the kinds of antisocial behaviour and violence we have witnessed in public places since the end of shelter in place.”

The boating public were urged to be considerate to other boat operators and houses nearby when playing music, especially late at night, and to avoid disposing of trash in the water.

Social distancing is required on boats and during raft-ups, and masks should be worn if 3ft distancing cannot be maintained. Raft-ups must not exceed 50 people.

Between 5am on Thursday and 10pm on Sunday, jet skis must not enter or operate in Paradise Lakes or territorial areas between:

Hawkins Island

Nelly Island

Ports Island

Long Island

Beta Island

Gamma Island

Delta Island

Epsilon Island

Zeta Island

Iota Island

Eta Island

Marshalls Island

Fern Island.

Vessel operators should avoid Clarence Cove at Admiralty House Park, where a buoy line will be installed.

A line of buoys will also be installed at Shelly Bay to create a safe swimming zone and keep out marine vessels.

Boaters are told to file a float plan with a friend or the Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre before leaving shore and adhere to the following regulations:

• Boaters are to not to exceed the 5-knot speed limit and must operate at a speed such that no wake is created within 100 metres from shore;

• Boaters must carry appropriate safety equipment for the size of the vessel;

• Boaters must have a life jacket for every person on board;

• A working VHF radio must be carried where required;

• Navigation lights must be in working order.