The Norfolk Broads are an excellent destination for boating holidays. Naturally, it is important to prevent accidental injuries by following a few simple safety tips.
One of the most important things to remember when boating in the Norfolk Broads is to have all family/crew members wear life jackets. The water can be extremely cold, and even good, experienced swimmers can subsequently quickly get into difficulty.
The Broads have speed limits for two reasons. First of all, high speeds create a large amount of wash, which erodes banks and disturbs nesting birds, other animals and people living close or on moored boats. Secondly, as on the road, injuries by boating accidents at higher speeds can be far more severe than those incurred at low speeds.
Mooring and casting off
These can be the most difficult tasks of boating and should always be done by adults wearing life jackets, sideways on and against the tide. Children should never be allowed to perform these tasks, as the risk of injury by falling into the water, for example, is too high.
It is also recommended to prevent drowning injuries by keeping an eye on the crew/family members (in particular children) at all times to make sure no-one has gone over-board.
As the water is extremely cold even during the summer months, and there are many underwater hazards, swimming should be avoided at all times. Underwater hazards include, for instance:
- Fast currents.
- Weeds and other obstacles swimmers may become entangled in.
- Blue-green algae, which is poisonous.
In addition, swimmers are virtually invisible to other boaters and may subsequently be dragged under and injured by boats unaware of their presence.
Many of the bridges on the Broads are fairly low, so it is important to prevent boating accidents and injuries to crew/family members by:
- Removing canopies.
- Getting everyone below deck.
- Ensuring enough clearance is available to safely manoeuvre the boat under the bridge.
It is also important to avoid accidental collisions with other boats. As a rule, boats travelling with the current have right of way. Making sure the boat is fully under control is also essential, as currents can be extremely strong near/under bridges.
If you hired a boat, were injured as a result of failure to be provided with necessary safety information, training or fully functional equipment, you could be eligible for personal injury compensation. Call Accident Advice Helpline for more information on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile.
Date Published: May 1, 2014
Author: David Brown