Stay safe at the seaside
Posted on: Wednesday 21 July 2021
With the heatwave in full swing, even the dolphins have been visiting Porthcawl and enjoying its stunning coastline.
And, as the warm weather continues this week, Bridgend County Borough Council is reminding people to stay safe while at the seaside.
The waters around Sandy Bay and Porthcawl Marina are especially busy during warm weather, and are a popular spot for activities such as boating, canoeing, kayaking, windsurfing, kite surfing, paddle boarding and open-water swimming.
Before entering the water
Whatever the activity, weather forecasts and sea conditions should always be checked in advance to make sure they are suitable. As well as being fit for purpose, all equipment should be clearly marked with a name and contact details, and lifejackets or buoyancy aids should be worn at all times.
Anyone entering the water should familiarise themselves with shallow areas and charted obstructions, and inform someone on shore of their movements. They should remain aware of equipment which could cause harm if touched – for example, boards, fins, lines and sails - and maintain a safe distance from others who may be in the water or on the beach.
High-visibility apparel, brightly coloured tow-buoys and swim caps can aid visibility while in the water, and a waterproof grab-bag containing items such as a radio, mobile phone, flares or a torch is recommended.
Always swim within your limitations, and avoid swimming alone. Tell someone on shore where you are swimming and when you expect to return, and be aware of the cold and the effects it can have on the body once immersed in water. To avoid collisions and accidents, consider what you will wear to make sure that other users and vessels can see you, or whether a tow-buoy is required.
Things that should always be avoided include diving or jumping from a structure into water of an unknown depth, swimming in strong currents and tides, and swimming after drinking alcohol or consuming food.
Never swim near a moving boat or around a vessel which is moored with its engine running, and always avoid swimming across the access channel of the marina.
Visitors are reminded that lifeguard patrols are in place at Trecco Bay, Sandy Bay / Coney Beach and Rest Bay between 10am-6pm up until 5 September. Only swim between red and yellow flags on lifeguard-patrolled beaches, and if you get into trouble, lie on your back in the ‘Float To Live’ position and relax, resisting the urge to thrash about.
Anyone who spots a swimmer in trouble should call 999 or 112 in an emergency and ask for the Coastguard. For more details, visit the RNLI website.
At the marina
With craft moving in and out of Porthcawl Marina, a five-knot speed limit is in place within the entrance, and all vessels must familiarise themselves and comply with International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea.
Craft using the marina must also comply with relevant regulations, including directions from the harbour master’s office. Before taking to the water, all vessels need to carefully consider prevailing weather and tidal conditions – it will not always be safe to set off. Local tide times are available on the VisitBridgend website.
People using personal watercraft (Jetskis) are encouraged to use the area around Newton Bay.
We want to ensure that all those who travel to Porthcawl to enjoy its waters and coastline every year take sensible precautions to look after themselves, protect others and ensure that everyone can enjoy the area safely.Council Leader Huw David