Navigation: the practice of nautical activities again possible on the French Atlantic façade
May 8, 2020 – 8:40 a.m. / Author: J. COTTET
Source: Atlantic Maritime Prefecture
The maritime and port world is getting impatient at the end of the speech of 7 May 2020 on the final details of the Prime Minister’s deconfinement.
Maritime Prefectures, including the Atlantic Maritime Prefecture, reacted quickly to adapt their provisions to the new directives.
Thus, the navigation bans are now lifted on the Atlantic façade as the PreMar Atlantic communicates:
As of Monday, May 11, 2020, in accordance with the government’s current provisions,the practice of nautical activities at sea is again possible on the Atlantic coast.
Before returning to sea, after several weeks of inactivity, it is essential that each user has ensured, beforehand, his good physical fitness, his mastery of the rules of navigation and the general good condition of his equipment.
For you, for other users and for the rescue teams that would have to intervene, be careful, be responsible!
Covid versus navigators: remarkable behaviour highlighted by the Maritime Prefect
Wing Vice-Admiral Jean-Louis Lozier, Maritime Prefect of the Atlantic, was keen to highlight the remarkable civic behaviour of the vast majority of Atlantic boating enthusiasts who delayed their outings at sea during the containment period, in order to protect themselves and not further expose rescue and health personnel.
Navigation: a reminder of precautions for skippers and navigators
The Maritime Prefect of the Atlantic calls on users who wish to resume boating from 11 May 2020 to adopt responsible behaviour, based on caution, vigilance, strict adherence to safety guidelines and health rules against coronavirus COVID-19 in force, as well as environmental protection and good knowledge of the marine environment.
The essential rules of safety at sea
In order to operate safely at sea, with respect for other users, the Atlantic Maritime Prefecture would like to recall a few essential rules:
Find out about weather conditions and tidal data (timetables, coefficient, force of currents in the area), even at close distance from the coast;
Always have a means of communication: VHF or mobile phone in a waterproof pouch;
Notify a loved one ashore of your departure time and your estimated return time (and inform them of any change in schedule to avoid concerns and false alarms);
Equip all crew members and/or passengers with lifejackets or integrated buoyancy (PFD) lifejackets as soon as you board and throughout navigation. Experience shows that the lifejacket saves lives!
Have equipment adapted to environmental conditions: at this time of year, the temperature differential between air and water can be significant and lead to serious accidents in the case of man at sea.
In addition, in the event of an emergency at sea, every minute counts. The first instinct of any person who is a victim or witness of an accident at sea must be to contact a Regional Operational Monitoring and Rescue Centre (CROSS) at 196, the only national emergency number dedicated to rescue at sea and free of charge. At sea, channel 16 of VHF radio connects you directly to a CROSS.
Permission to travel within 100 kilometres around your home for boating
How can this restrictive measure be transposed to navigation and boaters, as well as to professional yachting and boating?
The most obvious solution may be that a boater will have the right to join his ship if it is not more than 100 kilometres from his home. The same goes for boaters wishing to rent ships by the day, or charter clients as part of yachting.
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