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Broads safety record remains high

PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:05 06 July 2010

Stephen Pullinger

Increasing numbers of boaters wearing lifejackets is suggested as a key reason for the continuing good safety record on the Broads which saw no boat-related deaths for the third year running in 2009/10.

Increasing numbers of boaters wearing lifejackets is suggested as

a key reason for the continuing

good safety record on the Broads which saw no boat-related deaths

for the third year running in

2009/10.

A total of 22 people received hospital treatment. Eight of those injuries were caused when embarking or disembarking. And 34 people fell into the water.

A Broads Authority report points to inexperience causing some of the recorded incidents.

A hired half-decker sank with the crew of six being rescued unhurt at South Walsham Pump; a woman suffered a chest injury when a hire boat hit St Olaves Bridge; and a crew member was hit on the head by debris when a hire boat hit its mooring very hard.

On other occasions, a hire yacht collided with a cruiser, throwing a crew member into the water and a

14-year-old girl fractured her

wrist after getting it caught in the main sheet while sailing; and a boater was severely scalded on his arm and torso after taking off the cap from the expansion tank on a hot engine.

Only four boat fires were

reported, the lowest number for

four years, with two of those

believed to be the result of arson attacks.

One of the fires is thought to have been started by an electric heater left in an inappropriate location.

Steve Birtles, the Broads Authority's head of waterways strategy and safety, said: "The number of accidents is small when compared to the half-million visitors who boat on the Broads every

year.

"We continue to highlight the message of personal responsibility for safety through our publications and encourage boaters to take a more proactive role by becoming

better informed and wearing lifejackets.

"Last year we noticed a large increase in boaters wearing lifejackets which must have played a part in maintaining our record for no boat-related drownings. The greater occurrence of incidents caused when getting on and off boats reinforces the need for all organisations to continue to raise awareness of this hazard."

Last summer the Broads

Authority launched a safety campaign, with posters and wind-up torches warning boaters to wear sensible shoes and to take care when returning to their boats especially after dark.

It is currently piloting glow-in-the-dark discs beside mooring posts at unlit moorings and is considering painting the edge of some moorings white so they stand out in the

dark.

A DVD, Better Boating on the Broads, is available from boatyards and booking agents as well as from Broads Tourist Information Centres and the Broads Authority. (Tel: 01603 610734).

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