Swimming in the Ocean – Safety Advice

Being able to swim in the ocean is one of the major benefits of living on St Helena – more and more members of the community are taking advantage of open water swimming. 

With an increase in this activity, it is important to remember that the likelihood of an accident involving a boat and a swimmer also increases. Recently there have been reports of several near misses.

To help prevent any accidents in the water, here are some tips for swimmers and boat operators to stay safe.

If you are swimming in or near an area of boat operations remember:

  • Try to be as visible as possible, a swim buoy is an ideal way to do this and will make it easier to be spotted from a boat or for someone to keep an eye on you from land
  • Buddy up, try not to swim alone, it’s safer should anything go wrong and it’s far easier to spot a group of swimmers  
  • Avoid swimming near known areas of operation at dawn or dusk.  Spotting anything in the water at this time is difficult
  • When swimming near the steps and you see a boat approach or leave, remember, stay well away, it is easier for you to move than it is for the boat to manoeuvre
  • Let others know if you are going to be swimming anywhere near an area of boat operations, for instance let the ferry boat driver know, this way the driver knows to be extra vigilant and can alert other boat drivers of swimmers in the area.

If you are a boat operator or are in charge of a watercraft such as a Jet Ski remember:

  • Remain vigilant
  • Swimmers might not be aware of the complexities of boat operating and measures they should take to avoid trouble
  • Be verbal and communicate necessary safety information to swimmers, particularly if there is an unusual activity or situation at that given time
  • Avoid operating in known swimming lanes such as Middle Steps to Papanui (if you need to do so please travel at a much reduced speed) (see map pictured). 

#StHelena #SeaRescue #SwimmingSafetyAdvice #AltogetherSafer

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SHG
25 May 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: kimberley.peters@sainthelena.gov.sh