As you may be aware, due to the huge increase in stand-up-paddleboards (SUPs), kayaking and open water swimming, Torbay RNLI Safety Teams are spending more time on and around slipways, beaches etc and have spoken to over 600 people this year to date regarding safety advice.
What has arisen as a result is our Safety Teams having a much greater awareness of folk behaving badly/ breaking the byelaws either by ignorance, lack of experience or total disregard for the safety of other users.
Instances of swimmers and SUPs in the ski lane at the Elberry Cove area are a concern but powered water craft (PWC) exceeding the 5 knot regulation and speeding close to beaches/swimmers are an accident waiting to happen
Our Torbay RNLI Coastal Safety Officer has formally expressed our concerns to the Torbay Harbour Master who at least now has a harbour dept rep on the slipways, but not at weekends (in Brixham at least). This helps and they have put up new signage, though not always in the right place.
However, we (Torbay RNLI) have been told by harbour staff that ‘Oscar 4’, the Harbour Authority Beach Patrol RIB, will now be on patrol seven days a week with effect from the second week in June.
Advice on safety matters specific to any water activity/kit required will be freely available.