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Page last updated at 10:23 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 11:23 UK
Safe boating on Norfolk's Broads
Boating safety
The Broads Authority are encouraging people to be safe on the water

Norfolk's residents and holiday-makers looking for a splash are being told to cruise safely by the Broads Authority.

"Stay Alert - don't fall in!" is the safety message being conducted by the authority regarding safe summer cruising in 2009.

Safety tools such as wind-up torches are being offered for safe embarking and disembarking at night.

"We want to make people aware of the dangers," said Steve Birtles, head of waterways strategy and safety.

Since 2006 there have been no boating related deaths on the Broads, but of the 11 injuries needing hospital treatment in 2008, six were caused when people were getting on and off boats.

"Most injuries are caused when people get on and off boats... a large portion of incidents each year are caused by this sometimes quite complicated task," he added.

Each year more than one million visitors come to Norfolk to holiday on the Broads. As the summer holiday season kicks in, people start to relax and sometimes boat safety isn't at the forefront of their minds.

The Norfolk Broads
Wear buoyancy jackets, sensible clothing and keep a special eye on children
Don't jump off a moving boat and don't sit on the front deck of a day boat
Don't try to stop your boat by pushing with your hand or foot
Don't approach anyone in the water stern (back) first - that's where the propeller is
Don't hang your legs over the sides of the boat
Stick to regulation speed limits and do not weave the boat around. Your boat has no brakes - to stop it, you put it into reverse - and it takes much longer to stop so you must think ahead
Be aware of the danger of consuming alcohol - you are more likely to lose balance and fall in the water
Listen carefully to any advice from navigation rangers or safety patrol boats that may be patrolling and follow their guidance

"One of our major concerns is those moorings that are not so well lit," said Steve.

"People are here to enjoy themselves, but they need to take heeds of the hazards around.

"We don't want people to go away from the Norfolk Broads with a memory of a broken ankle or them falling in," he added.


An eye-catching poster campaign gives people advice for a night out off the boat, warning them to avoid high heels when aboard and limit the amount of alcohol they consume.

Wind-up torches are being offered as one solution, which the Broads Authority are selling at the cost of £1.

"As part of the 2009 campaign we are releasing around 1000 light wind-up torches which you'll be able to get at the Broads Authority tourist information centres," said Steve.

"We advise people to always keep a torch to hand as a vital piece of equipment. The wooden moorings and boats are often damp and slippery at night and the big danger is of falling between your boat and the quay," he added.

The Broads Authority is currently trialling other measures on its 24-hour moorings including glow-in-the dark fluorescent discs and reflectors on mooring posts. If successful, the measures will be rolled out to other unlit moorings near pubs.

Posters and the specially wind-up torches will be a feature at yacht stations, tourist information centres, pubs and riverside shops on the Broads. Torches are also available from Broads Authority navigation rangers and the Broads Authority's Norwich office.

For more boating safety tips, visit the Broads Authority website.



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