Boating: What Are The Rules To Respect At Sea?

When you go boating, all year round and especially during the summer, it is essential to respect certain safety rules and to take care to preserve the marine environment. We suggest you take a look at the rules to follow at sea.

What equipment is essential on board?

To be in good standing in the event of an inspection at sea, you must have on board the equipment that corresponds to the inspection zone (depending on whether you are sailing less than 6 miles or more than 6 miles from a shelter).

The Marine Block, which is the reference book for sea trips, gives you a list of all mandatory documents and equipment according to your sailing area.

If you are missing a document or the deadline has passed, the authorities may ask you to justify missing documents and present them by a given date.

In the event of a major infraction, such as speeding or incomplete safety equipment, the authorities (Maritime Affairs, Maritime Gendarmerie etc.) may also issue a procès-verbal.

What are the penalties?

In the event of non-compliance with regulations at sea, several levels of sanctions may be considered:

- the reminder is the first sanction, with an educational purpose, which is used for minor offences

- for more serious offences, offenders face fines of varying amounts up to €3750. In addition, a prison sentence ranging from 6 months to 3 years may be applied.

- For an intermediate offence, such as a lack of a lifejacket, incomplete armament equipment or missing or expired fire extinguishers, the maximum fine is €1500.

What are the safety rules to remember?

Every year, in the Mediterranean alone, nearly 30 people are killed by accidents or carelessness.

Some 1,300 people are rescued during rescue operations at sea coordinated by the Regional Monitoring and Rescue Centre for the Mediterranean, CROSSMed.

To limit the risks when you go out at sea, remember the following 4 safety rules:

1- Always check the weather before setting off and make sure the sea state changes during the day.

2- Do not go out at sea alone or warn relatives who can give the alert in case of delay.

3- Always carry a lighted locating device on board.

4- Never abandon your boat to try to swim back to shore.


Also, to remember the basic rules at sea, remember the acronym PEA :

- P is for preparation, which means preparing for your outing, checking the weather report and telling a loved one
- E is for equipment, i.e. the need to check one's equipment and have a working means of communication on board
- A is for alert : remember that you need to dial 196 from a phone or use channel 16 on the VHF to reach the rescue.

The 196 is a free emergency number that allows you to contact the CROSS, the Regional Rescue and Operational Centre, directly.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Pixnio
Tags: Safety, Boating, weather, Mediterranean, sailing, channel, dial, PEA, acronym, basic rules, day 2, VHF, communication, Fire extinguishers, marine environment, The Marine, reference book, infraction, Maritime Gendarmerie, penalties, sanctions, prison, lifejacket, emergency number,
In French: Plaisance : quelles sont les règles à respecter en mer ?
En español: Navegación: ¿cuáles son las normas que hay que respetar en el mar?
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