Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard promotes Safe Boating Week

Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard  promotes Safe Boating Week

Each person at sea must have access to a life vest, the Coast guard warns.

PHILIPSBURG--Seeing the unpredictability of Mother Nature, taking necessary precautions while sailing or engaging in water-related activities is crucial, the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard warned on Sunday. All boaters – commercial and recreational – are reminded of essential safety regulations during Safe Boating Week, held from May 18 to 24.

The Coast Guard urges everyone to adhere to the following safety guidelines to ensure a secure and enjoyable experience on the water: Ensure each vessel has enough life vests for everyone onboard and adhere to the maximum capacity outlined in the boat’s documentation.

Captains must have a charged cellphone or functional VHF radio and GPS equipment at hand, the Coast Guard warned. “Keep signalling devices such as flares or whistles on board. A fully equipped and up-to-date first aid kit must be available on board. Ensure there is enough clean water for all passengers”

The Coast Guard urges captains or vessel agents to report to the Immigration office upon arrival or departure from St. Maarten. “Everyone onboard must carry identification, and boat documentation should be up-to-date and accessible.”

Vessels must have operational lights when travelling at night. Operators of wave runners must wear life vests and moderate their speed in designated areas.

Public intoxication while sailing or operating a vessel is strictly prohibited, the Coast Guard warned.

In case of emergency, contact 913, send a WhatsApp message to +5999 510 0913, or use VHF channel 16.

For those who have experienced traumatic events at sea and need emotional support, the Victim Support Services of Sint Maarten is available for guidance and assistance. Contact them by calling or sending a WhatsApp message to 1.721.587.6477.

The Daily Herald

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