Kingsbridge Estuary Boat Club – Boatwatch Guidance 2022.

1/ The Boatwatch Role:

The harbour master and his staff are keen to work with us because they recognise the value of the local knowledge our members have, and the extra pairs of eyes looking around! Additionally we may be the first to identify any hazards to marine life, biohazards or risks to the general environment.

The locations we visit at our end of the estuary are Newbridge (Bowcombe) Quayside, Embankment Road Pumping Station slipway, and Kingsbridge Town Pontoon. If time and inclination permit, the Frogmore village end of Frogmore Creek.

Choose whether to do the round on foot (with or without dog!), by car, bicycle or boat.

Wearing a Boatclub high-vis vest is mandatory so it is clear who we are and what we are up to.

2/ Expectations of Boatwatchers and personal safety:

We are unpaid volunteers and not expected to take responsibility for anything more than observation and reporting.

There are some occasions where we may take practical action but the overriding criteria is our personal safety.

Observing a boat or person in trouble, Boatwatchers should make a judgement about whether to become directly involved based on their personal knowledge, circumstances and capability. Calling the emergency services if appropriate (PTO for numbers).

The club holds public liability insurance, covering club members while on Boatwatch amongst other things. Work in pairs wherever possible, especially in bad weather or after dark. As when boating, make sure someone knows where you are going and when to expect you back.

3/ Tasks/Incidents/Reporting:

Watch out for any evidence of illegal or dangerous activity on or near the water.

Monitoring any boats, or kit at risk. Loose boats/dinghies should be secured if possible, where it is safe to do so.

A photo of the boat and its harbour sticker with its all important owner reference number will enable the Harbour Staff to inform the owner of the issue.

Anything apparently criminal, injury or risk to life should be reported to the appropriate emergency number (a quick email to the Boatwatch Coordinator soon after would be appreciated). Any lesser events, photos/brief info to the coordinator for him to pass on to the harbour authority as appropriate, and keep the other Team Leaders in the loop.

Steve Arblaster 1st March 2022.

KEBC Boatwatch Coordinator. 01548853280/07980109242

To report a situation causing immediate concern, ie speeding boats:

Harbour Office 01548 843791. Out of hours 01803 867034

If an immediate response is required during the summer months, it may be quicker to contact the Water Taxi on VHF Channel 12 or 07807 643879 and ask them to pass the info on to the relevant Harbour Office duty boatman.

Danger to life/coastguard etc 999!